The Goal of Youth Sportsmanship

Football season is fast approaching and with it comes fun and excitement.  As parents, we can use this time as an opportunity to teach great sportsmanship to our kids. We want to do all we can to help them, right? That’s our natural instinct.  However, parents need to understand and remember that first and foremost, we are introducing our kids to the world of sports while they learn and build their athletic skills.  This includes learning how to be a team player, learning rules and how important it is to follow these.  Also, it’s important to remember and remind everyone, that the coaches, many times volunteertheir time and knowledge because of their love for the game and the desire to work with young athletes.  Officials by the same token, are local folks as well who are doing their best to improve their skills as they make their way up the ladder to advance to higher levels. These coaches and officials are sometimesparents, business leaders and some are young men and womenwanting to help.  Without these caring individuals, our kids would not have the opportunity to play the great game of football. 

Just like being a good team player, a good sports parent requires discipline. After all, sporting events evoke a lot of strong emotions, and learning to keep a level head in the midst of those emotions is not an easy task. But if you keep your focus on being a good role model and doing what’s best for your child and for the team, everyone can be successful.

At the end of the day, football is just a game. It is meant to be fun and instructional for young athletes. Youth football games are also for families to convene and cheer for their team as a bonding experience. Avoid being a distraction, that is not what your athlete needs. If your kid’s team loses the game, criticizing the referee can send the wrong message to your child. Kids must learn to take accountability for losing rather than shifting blame elsewhere. Keep in mind, a football referee is paid (or volunteers) to officiate a game and does not care who wins or loses. Be chill and just enjoy the game!  

Your child is more likely to have a positive and enriching experience playing sports if you focus on being a good sports parent. Just be sure to refrain from applying too much pressure or setting unrealistic expectations, and both you and your child will find the experience rewarding and a great opportunity to build memories.

Enjoy the wonderful game of football as you make life long memories with your kids.

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