Basic Rules for Parents at Youth Sports Games
Youth Sporting Events are not the Olympics...
In the past few years of attending my granddaughter's sporting events, I've taken notice of a few do's and don'ts that parents and grandparents will find helpful.
I'm a spectator who tends to multi-tasks. Which means I can fully focus on the game and also pay attention to what's going on around me while taking mental notes.
The mental notes that I have accumulated over time are now being put to use to guide you with some basic rules.
Please do not take offense to my list of do's and don'ts unless you might possibly be guilty as charged. Then hopefully you will learn a lesson as to what the basic rules should be, based on my opinion.
Do's and Don'ts of Youth Sports Games for Parents
These do's and don'ts apply to a minor amount of team supporters. The majority of parents deserve a huge kudos for taking the time to have their children participate in youth sports. Kids aren't as active as they were years ago. With tech gadgets that occupy their time while sitting down they aren't getting outdoors as much as they should.
While outdoors they are riding on motorized scooters, bikes or go-karts and they are not getting the cardio workout they should. What happened to the old fashioned way of pedaling a bike or using their feet to maneuver their scooters of skateboards? It's a shame. Kids are being allowed to be lazy.
Participating in an athletic sport teaches the kids that being active is good for their health. Being lazy is not beneficial. Being a member of a team teaches a child they could overcome fears and gain drive, determination and motivation. It's all about the "team." Teamwork.
Now it's up to the parents to follow some basic rules and set a good example.
Parents Guide to Raising Athletes
Things parents shouldn't do at their kids sports game...
- Do not bring your kids late to the game. There is a certain time scheduled per team. Try your best to stick to the schedule, no one likes to have to forfeit a game due to a member shortage.
- Be sure and feed your child at least an hour before the game. If they eat too soon before the game, their breakfast or lunch might be ejected forward and create a mess.
- Make sure the kids take a tinkle before they join the team. The only dribbling on the court should be from the ball. It's quite funny to watch the kids squeezing their legs closed as they attempt to make a shot, but why risk an accident?
- Your schedule is tight. You have a to-do list a mile long...but, they need their practice. Its their time to learn. Try your best to bring them to practice.
- I don't have to remind you how essential drinking water is during their breaks. Not soft drinks. Not sugary drinks. Water is best. Be sure and bring a bottle or two, to practice and the game.
- In the beginning of the season the Team Mom should distribute a list with the date that you should bring the snacks. Try your best not to forget the snacks. If you aren't going to be able to attend that specific game, place someone else in charge of bringing the food and drink. The kids always look forward to their chill time after the game, with their team mates, while enjoying their treats. The choice of food is up to you. Be creative.
- Team jerseys should be odor, stain and wrinkle free. Your child is representing their team. Just before the game you realize you forgot the jersey in the car trunk all week...in just a few minutes you could blot out a stain and toss it in the dryer with a fabric softener, for a couple of minutes. Preferably a fragrance free fabric softener...can't imagine your youngen running around smelling like Spring Breeze.
- If your daughter has long hair be considerate and place her hair in a ponytail. Not pig tails, I've witnessed other kids get smacked in the face with pig tails swinging around the field or court.
- If your superstar player has younger siblings do not allow them to run around the game area. I've seen tiny toddlers get flattened during games and even though they weren't injured their screams could be heard around the field.
Cheer On Your Child's Team...
More Basic Rules for Parents During Youth Sports Games
- Spectators shouldn't gossip. You never know who is seated around you. Even if your gossip is harmless, some one could misinterpret what you said and your words could hurt some one's feelings. Parents should not say something inappropiate or rude about a player on the team. Remember, you are at your child's game and the last thing you need is a to find yourself in time out or possibly blocked.
- Do cheer on the opposing team. Remember, these are children at play. Your cheers will show not only show your children, but the other teams parents and players that you all are in this game together.
- Don't yell at your kid during the game if they temporarily zone out. It happens. They are kids. I've seen kids zone out for a few minutes and you would think the parents were about to slam dunk them. Your child will snap out of it and rejoin the game.
- Do not yell at other parents. If some one is blocking your view, kindly let them know. Chances are they are in their zone and don't realize it. Don't yell at another parent because their kid didn't make the shot. Seriously? This is a youth game, not the Olympics!
- Remember to double knot their shoes. It's unbelievable how many times I saw kid's shoelaces become untied during a game. They are already in the process of losing their baby teeth, they don't need to be falling flat on their face and losing them during a game with their peers.
- Do not spend the short time at a game on your mobile device. Put your phone away and concentrate on the cheering on your child and their team mates. You could very possibly miss the play of the game because you were playing Candy Crush. Show your support and CHEER.
- Do not question the coaches instructions or actions. He's taking the time to coach your kid's team because he knows how the game should be played. He's a volunteer. He receives no compensation for teaching your child the rules and regulations of the sport. He should be applauded for the time that he spends training your child to be part of a team. Now, you could suggest to the coach that he chills out a bit if you feel he's being too tough on a child. I have never witnessed this, but any thing is possible. Always remember to thank your coach.
- Do give the kids some slack if they seem tired. Between school, homework and lack of sleep they might not be up to par during a practice or game. That's OK. Now on the flip side if they are just not in the mood, remind them what teamwork is all about. Being there for your team, even if you aren't in the mood.
- Practice makes perfect. When time allows for you practice your child's sport with them in between seasons or during the season. Make it a family outing. During this time remind your child that it's not OK to hog a ball during a game. Team members share the ball and are not playing the game solo. Without team mates there would be no team. Sharing is caring.
- Give your children compliments, a high five, a fist bump, a hug...share with them why you are so proud of them and how impressed you are with their sportsmanship. Children need encouragement, adults do also. Who doesn't like to be recognized when they accomplish something that's important to them? Go ahead and spread the love and watch your child shine! Go Team!
Teamwork Involves the Entire Team
Does your child (or grandchild) participate in youth sports?
Youth Sports - Girls 2nd and 3rd Grade Basketball Team
© 2014 Linda Bilyeu