Going Beyond Being a “Good Sport”

The conduct of parents at sporting events and practices has changed with times and so has the scrutiny around good sportsmanship. We as parents or guardians have our good days and bad days. In all sports, whether it’s competitive or recreation, aggressive parents are an issue. Parents often fight with coaches and berate kids, their own or in some cases others which leads to some being banned from fields or lead out of arenas by security. Making a kid cry, being belittled in front of their teammates or friends is unacceptable. Let us all remember why we are on the field, for exercise, focus, comradery and the true love of socialization and the sport. No child or parent is perfect they are all learning in life, the game or sport. Let us all approach practices with grace for each other and keeping the big picture in mind.  

Football coach advising the goalkeeper

Another concern is the “grit” of the sport itself. It’s fine to hold kids to a set of standards for long practices and one-on-one coaching to develop as an athlete, but how much is too much? Because of harsh scrutiny and poor sportsmanship, there is now a shortage of coaches around the country. Sadly, some kids may never learn the love of the game because of disagreements on how to “play” and how much play is enough. So, if you are at a game or match encourage our youth with words of kindness. If you find it in your heart to teach and get involved because you are zealous, approach your coach and volunteer.

True rearing and leading by example is the best we can give to ourselves and to each other. We all want a better generation and better for our kids. Ask yourself how would I want to be treated? Remember they are only looking for praise from you. Be mindful, studies have shown yelling at our kids does have long term effects on development, the same as abuse. Later in life, they will remember what you did for them today so what kind of impression do you want to leave? No matter how bad a day you have at work or home leave it there! Parents have their kids in sports for a variety of reasons. Always go back to the real reason you started this sport. Value the opportunity for learning social skills and teamwork, maintaining healthy body weight, scholarship opportunities and the memories your making! Support our youth as they are the future and go beyond being a good sport.

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Congrats to Pembroke Pines Piranhas for their big WIN in Boys under 10!

(Photo Credit: Sarana Minick: Upper Left Andrew Minick, Middle, and Lower: Team Piranhas at practice and winning together) 

Below is a list of sites that might help if you as a parent. Sometimes we need a refresher on how to cope with our personal shortcomings (let’s face it, mama, nobody’s perfect) and how to talk it through with your child. The best thing we can do for our kids is to get help if we see we have a problem manifesting in ourselves or our children. 

Mom & Dad Resources:

  1. Anger Management Tips & Techniques
  2. Taming your Temper – Top 10
  3. Yelling at Kids: Long-Term Effects
  4. Parenting Style: Dealing with Judgement on Parenting

Leading by example is the best coaching we can ever do for our children, it will show them if they have a problem or issue its ok to seek help. Keeping these things top of mind will ensure we all walk away winners in the game of life!

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