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10 Tips for First-Time Sports Parents

By Positive Coaching Alliance, 12/13/17, 3:30PM CST


Focus on the life lessons that sports can uniquely teach

As rewarding as sports parenting can be, it's not easy. Winning and losing and performing well and not-so-well are challenges your children will face in youth sports. You'll want to help them navigate those experiences and emotions.

Rather than concern with scoreboard wins and losses, PCA hopes that you, as a sports parent, keep your eye on the Big Picture – the life lessons in teamwork, resilience, overcoming adversity, communication skills, etc., that sports can uniquely teach.

Here are a few of the tips for parents of kids new to organized sports:

1. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of youth sports – we all want our children to succeed. But before your child’s season starts and emotions run high, write down your goals for your child in sports. Keep this list close by and refer back to it throughout the season to help maintain your focus on the bigger picture.

2. There are a lot of youth sports organizations out there. Take the time to evaluate options for where your child may play. Look at various organizations’ websites to understand their mission statements and what kind of training they offer their coaches. Talk to other parents whose kids have played in those organizations to learn what kind of experience they had. You may want to take as much care in this matter as you would in selecting the school your child should attend.

3. Learn the names of the other kids on the team, and during a game cheer positively for all the players . . . even the other team! You can try “no-verbs cheering” or otherwise limit yourself to shouts of encouragement. Either way, let coaches let coaches coach, and don’t confuse or overwhelm your child by shouting instruction from the sidelines or stands.

To get the full 10 tips head to!

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Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver live group workshops, online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.

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