1. Sport must be fun.
- We enjoy success but we don’t enjoy striking out three times in a row. Skill is very important to the realization of fun.
- We enjoy learning new things but we don’t enjoy boredom.
- We enjoy respect but we don’t enjoy terror, threats and negatives.
2. Keep competition in perspective. Educating your child is key.
- Only put your child in competitive situations with evenly matched opponents.
- Separate performance from self-worth.
- Better to lose and do your personal best than win and play ugly.
- Better to lose to a good opponent and learn what you need to do to get better than to win against someone who can’t play and learning nothing new.
3. Skill is a function of repetition and a key to having fun.
- Kids learn/teach themselves.
- Good teachers help.
- Imitation is an important learning method — take your child to see others play.
4. Help your child find a sport that is just right for her.
- Commit to a certain time period
- Commit to skill-learning before you give up.
- Make the deal before you play
5. You can and should coach your child.
- It’s not hard to be better than a six-year-old
- It’s not hard to teach.
6. Lead by example as a spectator and as a cheerleader.
- Be positive toward your child.
- Be positive to all other children and their parents.
7. Deliver value messages over and over again. They will sink in!
- ”It’s important how you play the game.”
- ”How you play says something about who you are. If you cheat, you are dishonest. If you argue about calls, you are a whiner.”
- Deliver messages in a non-judgmental, matter of fact way with no anger evident.
8. There are many ways you can encourage your child to participate in sport without forcing it.
- Take them with you when you play…they want to be like you.
- Make play fun.
- Take them to watch others play. Buy books about sport.
- Give gifts that say “I think you can do it!”
9. Get involved in their sport experience.
- Join your child’s league governance, etc.
- Make sure coaches and officials are certified and educated.
10. Select coaches who you respect, admire and trust.
- Do not tolerate bad people…no matter how many games your child’s team wins.
- Make sure the team your child plays on has children of similar skill.