- Thou shall love your child no matter what. Be sure your child believes that he is loved whether he wins or loses and that if he does not have a good performance, you are not disappointed in him.
- Thou shall let the coach do his job. Even if you don’t like him or agree with his strategy. Refrain from coaching your child right before, during or on the way home from the game.
- Thou shall let your child have fun. Teach your child to enjoy competition, whether they win or lose. In other words, thou shall lighten up.
- Thou shall be realistic about your child’s abilities. Be a fan, always. But take off the rose-colored glasses. It’s okay if your kid doesn’t go pro.
- Thou shall volunteer. Find something you can do to help out the team, no matter how minor you may think it is. If enough parents do this, things get done.
- Thou shall not relive your athletic life through your child. Let your kid carve his own path, be his own person.
- Thou shall not compare your child’s abilities or attitudes with anyone else’s. Including older brothers and sisters. Let them focus on their own performance, instead of trying to be like someone else.
- Thou shall be grateful. Be sure you tell the coach thanks when the season is over. He has put in a lot of time and energy to coach the team and even if you don’t like him, he still deserves appreciation for doing a difficult job.
- Thou shall support the whole team. As a spectator, cheer for everyone on your child’s team, not just your kid.
- Thou shall see the big picture. Remember that youth sports is not the end in itself. In fact, sports in general is not the end in itself. Sports is fun, and can even bring opportunities for the future, but nothing is more important than who you and your child become in the process.
Janis Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM THINKS.
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