ParentClick Santa Barbara

Sideline Etiquette for Parents


Good sportsmanship from the sidelines is just as important as on the field!

I didn’t grow up in a household that was ‘big’ on sports. I never played sports as a child or in school. I rarely went to sporting events or watched sports on T.V. So when it comes to sports, I am pretty clueless! That ALL changed when I married a coach!

My husband is a professional coach, he gets paid to do one of his favorite pass times, watch soccer! Needless to say, I have learned A LOT from being on the sidelines during my married life. I have witnessed all sorts of outbursts, emotions and embarrassing moments from parents watching their kid’s game.

Here are a few tips on sideline etiquette for parents:

1. Don’t Be Critical – Your child is most likely putting their best foot forward when it’s game time. If for some reason they are not, critiquing them DURING a game isn’t going to help! Instead encourage your child to do their best, cheer them on and if there is something you really need to talk to them about do it when the game is over. And ALWAYS remember to NEVER be critical of someone else’s child on the team, that is definitely not your job!

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check – Watching our kids play sports bring out a whole gamete of emotions in us. We quickly become Mama/Papa Bears and want justice for our team. It’s easy to get angry at the referees for bad calls, or scream at the top of your lungs when your team comes close to scoring, or even pouting because the coach isn’t playing your child in the game. These emotions are normal, but they shouldn’t make YOU the spectacle of the game. Remember that there are spectators there who are trying to enjoy the game without theatrics. Also, remember that the other team has parents too who are rooting for their kids, so be respectful of your actions and words.

3. Let the Coach, Coach – The coach should be the only one telling players where to go and what to do next. Most coaches have a plan; they see the big picture of how they want a game to go and what moves to make to bring the team up to speed. Remember to let the coach do their job, and if you feel the need to coach you can always sign up to volunteer next season!

4. Enjoy the Game – Sports are meant to be fun! Of course we want to see our team win, we want success for our children. The reality is they aren’t going to win every game, but they can walk away from every game learning something new. Your support and love is going to go much further than a win or a loss. Find victories in every game your child plays!

There’s nothing quite like being on the sidelines watching your child play a sport! Just remember to always be respectful to your child, the team, other parents and the coaches during the game. Be proud of your child for exercising, showing confidence and being part of a team. Your child is making wonderful memories on the field, while you are being a supportive parent on the sidelines!

[AUTHOR: Misty Sedehi]

February 12, 2015

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