Parent’s Code of Conduct
Based on guidance by Christoper Stankovich, Ph.D.
When kids are surveyed about the reasons why they play sports, the #1 response kids consistently report is to have fun. In addition to the fun kids experience while playing sports, additional benefits from sports participation include physical, cognitive, and emotional growth and development. Unfortunately, all these great things do not happen automatically, but instead, occur as a direct result of your positive efforts as a parent. It is in this spirit that we share a few important tips to maximize your child’s athletic experience.
As a parent, it is important that you:
- Respect the game, including your child, teammates, and opponents. This means ensuring that your child attends and comes prepared for all practices and games, treats both teammates and opponents with dignity and respect. Good sportsmanship means playing fair and safe, controlling negative emotions, and keeping the spirit of competition a healthy endeavor.
- Respect the officials. Remember officials, umpires, and referees, are an important part of the sport and add to the overall experience for your child. It is important that you distinguish between a bad call (human error) and wrong calls (when an official doesn’t know the rule). In either case, it is important that you respect all officials and develop tolerance skills for when bad calls are made, which will happen—officials are human and, like all of us, will make mistakes.
- Refrain from coarse and threatening language, as well as all forms of physical aggression. There is never a place in youth sports to use vulgarities, threaten, intimidate, or use physical aggression.
- Let the coaches coach. While it may be easy to second-guess your child’s coach from the sidelines, most parents forget or overlook how challenging it is for coaches to both win games and at the same time make sure that all the players have an opportunity to develop. The job of being a coach is an incredibly challenging task, so be sure to support your child’s coach as much as possible.
- Always watch for the safety of all players, including physical and emotional dangers. Be sure to pay attention to injuries, including concussions, and respond to them in a timely manner. Additionally, pay attention to signs of youth sports burnout and be sure to respond to your child if they need help.
- Cheer whenever possible and stay away from booing and other negative fan behavior. Youth sports provide a great opportunity for positive fan support, including cheering. Booing and other negative gestures and language from the sidelines are never appropriate, so be sure to stay focused on positively supporting your child’s team.
Thank you for your positive participation in Worthington Youth Boosters.