Putting Parental Support in Sports
Just like dandelions, spring brings the players back to the ball field and their parents to the stands.
Being a good sports parent means more than just delivering your little slugger to the ballpark. If you’re new to the game, there are some pointers for how to have a winning season.
Good sports parents show up. They are there at practice and for games, at least as many as they can. And don’t just be there, be present. Talking to the other parents is nice, but getting so involved that you miss your kid’s big catch or homerun is not. Keep an eye on the game. And leave your cell phone in your purse or your pocket.
Back up the coach. Volunteer to help if possible, and support the coach’s decisions. Let him/her coach the game.
Tips for First-Timer Parents:
If you’re a baseball rookie, read up on the game so you know what your youngster is talking about. Learn the rules and help your child learn them and follow them.
Be supportive. Give positive feedback to your young player, like “I saw you hustling up the baseline” or “I noticed you used both hands to catch that ball in the outfield, just like the coach showed you.”
Listen to your child. Ask them about the game and how they felt. If they lost, they might be sad. If they won, they might want to relive the game.
Give the umpire a break. Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t yell or say disparaging things about him/her during or after the game.
Don’t yell at your child either during or after a game. That’s the surest way to make a kid dislike baseball. Let the coach handle instruction during the game and help your child work on catching, throwing, and batting at home or in the park.
Giving Support After the Game:
Whether your child is the best on the team or near the bottom of the roster, it’s not their whole identity. Don’t put pressure on them to perform.
Show your child how to win with class and not rub it into the other team, and how to lose with grace and not be a bad sport.
And remember to sign up to bring the snack after the game. Bring the good stuff and you’ll be a hit.
By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers
Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas
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