A Parent's Code of Conduct for Post-Season Play
Janis B. Meredith
Bio: "Janis was
brought up in a sports family, married a man who has coached for 27 years, and
has had three kids play sports from age 5 to college. She sees issues a bit
differently, with a perspective of life from both sides of the bench--as a
coach's wife and as an athlete's parent. jbmthinks.blogspot.com"
of the summer season is rapidly approaching, and that means playoffs will soon
be at hand.
Either your child’s team has
been eliminated and it's time to begin fall preparations, or it’s playoffs
If your young athlete is indeed
headed for the postseason, here are a few pointers to help you along the way.
postseason play, athletes must hold themselves to a higher level of performance
than they do during the regular season. To
be successful and make it to a championship, these young athletes must really
step up their game.
means that you must step up your game as a sports parent. You can do that by committing yourself to the
following rules of conduct:
1. Believe. The hard work and skill that got your child
and his or her team to the playoffs will most assuredly help them compete in
the postseason. Instill confidence in
your young athlete by telling him/her that they will do their best and perform
well. Try to stay away from negative
comments like "I hope you're up for this" or "Are you nervous
about the big game?"
2. Build up your child by loving and
supporting him/her unconditionally after each game, no matter how it turns out.
3. Back off. Playoffs time is not the time to start nagging
your child to condition or to push them to try harder. If it hasn't done any good before, it simply
won't help now. This is a perfect chance
for them to learn on their own that preparation and hard work pay off in crunch
Postseason play can often put a lot of extra pressure on our
children. Sometimes during these
situations, it's OK to cut them some slack from their responsibilities. Give them a night off from chores, or let
them watch a bit more TV then usual. They will respond.
5. Break free of team squabbles or coach
bashing. Now, more than ever, parents need to be positive and express support.
If you have issues with the coach or other parents that need to be addressed,
wait until the playoffs are over.
6. Band together. Cheer for everyone on the team, not just
your child. Be a voice of support and
encouragement for every player on the field.
7. Bow out. It is imperative that you let the coach do
his/her job during the playoffs, without interference. You may not agree with his/her philosophy,
style or strategy, but as long as he/she is not doing anything immoral or
cruel, let him/her coach. If you think you can do better, put your name in for
the job next year.
8. Brace yourself. Postseason play can often be a roller coaster
ride of emotion. Dramatic situations,
frustrations, challenges and joys are all magnified during the playoffs.
9. Brush off mistakes. Help your child put errors in the rearview
mirror. Remind him/her that it takes an
entire team to win a game, and it takes an entire team to lose one as
well. This can prove especially
difficult if your young athlete makes a mistake that seems to be the deciding
factor in a game.
10. Breathe deeply. You're going to feel nervous. Your stomach
may be twisting. Sometimes parents are more worked up than the kids. Take a
deep breath, and relax. These games are supposed to be fun! Take pictures;
enjoy every moment. These are memories you and your child will talk about for
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