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10 Commandments for Parents and Coaches of Girls

As coaches and parents, we bring our values to sport and transmit them to our children and their teammates. Remembering these 10 Commandments will help you and your child have the best experience in sports as possible.


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.