A Message To Parents

Updated Monday January 31, 2011 by SIBFL.

One of the most important tasks for coaches and parents is to prepare our children for life. Children must learn to overcome fears and failures, to try new things and to deal with failure as well as success. Often, coaches and parents view sports with a life-or-death goal of winning. As parents and coaches, we should teach children to play to win, but also teach them appropriate behavior when we lose.

Parents and coaches teach appropriate behavior through their own actions and words. Winning is not everything... losing can teach children to adapt, modify behavior, enhance skills and to persevere. The challenge of parents and coaches, as role models, is to teach through our own actions, appropriate social skills and behaviors. Above all else, teach your child good sportsmanship.


  1. Place an emphasis on participation and effort, not winning.
  2. Support your child while he is playing, simply by being there.
  3. Comment on how hard they tried. Say something positive.
  4. Leave coaching to the coaches.
  5. Show self-control and enjoyment while your child is playing.
  6. Teach and demonstrate to children to play by the rules.
  7. Teach your child that doing your best as a player and a team is equally as important as winning.
  8. Give positive reinforcement to your players and the other team's players.
  9. Applaud ALL good plays and efforts for BOTH teams.
  10. If your child makes a mistake, first point out the good things they have done before discussing mistakes. ALWAYS DO THIS AT HOME.
  11. Treat all players, coaches and officials as you would like to be treated.
  12. Practice and play with your child. Every child wants their parents to be interested in what they are doing. GET INVOLVED.
  13. Make every effort to attend your child's practice and games.

Do Not....

  1. Force a child to play if they don't want to.
  2. Yell at your child for making mistakes.
  3. NEVER question, discuss or confront a coach, official or another parent about the game at the game field. Wait until you get home, then use the phone.
  4. Yell at the officials or opposing team during a game.
  5. Criticize or put down a player, opposing player, coach or official when discussing a practice or game with your child.
  6. Do not put all the emphasis on winning.
  7. Do not make exaggerated facial expressions or hand signals to your child while they are playing.