Good Sportsmanship for Parents in the Stands

Mr. Jay Lynch, Lower School Dean of Students
The school year is well underway, and parents of student athletes are spending lots of time in the stands, cheering on their kids and their teammates. Here are a few tips that will help you support your child by modeling good sportsmanship.

Practice Etiquette

If you decide to attend practice, please refrain from cheering or coaching from the sidelines. Allow children to enjoy the process of interacting with their coaches and teammates while you quietly observe. You’d be surprised at the learning that goes on during a practice, so you don’t want to deny your child this experience! If you want to help coach, many recreational teams are in need of coaches, so please sign up!

Game Parenting Etiquette
On game day, positively cheer for you child, their teammates, and even the children on the opposing team! Please do not coach your child from the sideline, as this can cause great confusion for your child, wondering whether to listen to the coach or the parent while in the midst of play. Remember, if you want to coach, most youth teams are in need of volunteer coaches.

Parents should also refrain from addressing comments to referees. Refs have a big job keeping close tabs on the game and trying to make good calls. They do sometimes make mistakes, and hearing negative commentary from parents makes for an unpleasant experience for all and doesn’t model good sportsmanship.

Post-Game Etiquette
Whether your child’s team wins or loses, make sure you greet your child with positive feedback. Praising your child for his or her efforts goes a long way, and simply asking if your child had fun during the game can start a great conversation. Leave the analyzing of your child’s performance for the coach. If your child is unhappy with his or her performance, use this post-time time as a moment to just be there as a supportive parent. If you’d like more insight about the importance of allowing your child the freedom to enjoy youth sports, you might wish to read Why Coaching from the Sidelines Will Backfire For Sports Parents. The article addresses the parent/child post-game chat that is very insightful. Please take a moment to read the article and think about how you can positively approach sports experiences with your child.
Pinecrest Academy is a private PreK3-12 Catholic school located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children. To learn more about our unique educational philosophy, visit our Welcome page.

The mission of Pinecrest Academy is reflected in the word Integer, which is Latin for “whole,” or “entire,” and reflects our goal of forming the whole child as an authentic “Person in Christ.” The school motto Semper Altius, means “Always Higher,” and challenges our students, parents, staff and faculty to strive for excellence in all areas of Integral Formation® - intellectual, spiritual, human and apostolic.