Etiquette For Parents At Sporting Events

This post is part of a long term ambassador program with Hotels4Teams, all thoughts and opinions are mine alone. 

When Jay started playing sports this year, I have to admit that I was 100% a helicopter mom and got in the way of the practice or game a couple times. Never making the game come to a complete stop, but having to yell at Jay when he's turned a baseball game into a game of tackle football to get the ball, or going over to the sidelines to tell him to keep his hands to himself when he was throwing grass at friends, and little things like that. I realized at some point that me micromanaging everything at each game quickly became exhausting, and at some point I had to just let it go in order for me to just enjoy the game and not be completely stressed out all the time. 

This has made me think a lot about parents and sports. I know we're just in the early stages of things, but parent etiquette has been on my mind a lot the last couple weeks, and how when I was playing sports, there were definitely a few parents who crossed the line (literally and metaphorically), and how we have certain responsibilities as parents while our kids are playing in sports. 

Things For Parents To Do:
  1. Be happy about your kids playing sports, but don't let their success or failures get in the way of your own personal ego. 
  2. Enjoy yourself at the games/meets/competitions. If your child can see you look annoyed to be there, it can make them feel guilty about participating. 
  3. Look calm while your child is participating. If they can see that you think, "They're doing it wrong", or "not well enough", that is going to hurt their own self esteem. 

Things To Do With Other Parents:
  1. Make friends with other parents. This will make games more fun with you, and can help establish relationships outside of the sport for your children too. 
  2. Volunteer as much as you can, and rotate jobs among parents so no one gets burnt out. 
  3. Police your own behavior. Work as a team with parents to make sure no ones behavior gets out of control. 
Things To Do For Your Children:
  1. Never force them to participate. 
  2. Help them set realistic goals for participating. Like getting their face underwater at swim lessons, or hitting the ball three times at practice, or making two baskets at each game. Give them small goals they can work towards and build from there.
  3. Tell them how sports can help with team work, self esteem, problem solving and more!
  4. Show interest in their participation. Got to practices and games, and ask questions about how they're doing. 
  5. Reward effort instead of results!
  6. Understand your child may need a break from sports once in a while. We did swim for six weeks straight this summer, but are actually taking the rest of the summer off!
  7. Give them unconditional love! Let them know you love them whether they win or lose!
Things To Do With Coaches:

  1. Let the coaches coach. 
  2. Give them support to help them do their jobs better. Derek did this by coaching first base for most of baseball season. 
  3. Communicate with them about your child's specific needs. 
  4. Let them know about things going on at home that may affect their participation in games or practice. 
  5. Make the coaches your friends!
What other advice to do you have for game day etiquette? For more parenting etiquette for parents with young athletes, be sure to check out this article written by Hotels4Teams! 

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