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Tips For Sportsmanship And Honoring The Game

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Parents should feel like they play an integral role in helping their youth sport organization uphold a standard of positivity and respect. At Positive Coaching Alliance, we call this behavior Honoring the Game. Coaches, parents, administrators and athletes all have a part in ensuring a level of respect and sportsmanship is upheld. Kids learn from watching others behave, and parents can influence how their children Honor the Game by making sure to do so themselves before, during and after the game.

Before the game, parents can encourage their children to do their best, and remind them that they will be proud regardless of the scoreboard results. This will likely take some pressure off the kids, who can focus on doing their best and having fun.

During the game parents should remember to let the coaches coach, and instead of yelling instruction from the sidelines, spend time encouraging and supporting all players. This extends to letting officials do their job and not reacting to any calls. It is part of the coach’s job description to interact with the officials and referees, not the parents'.

After the game, parents play the biggest role in helping young athletes connect their play with the bigger- picture learning of life lessons and character development. Remember to give truthful and specific praise, and continue to express pride in their efforts.

See this PDF for more game day tips on how parents can Honor the Game.

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