THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF YOUTH SPORTS FOR PARENTS
You shall support and encourage your child, attend games and cheer for all of the players, including the opposition.
You shall play the sport with your child outside of practices and games if the child wants to, but not push your child into doing so. Pushing your child can cause resentment and burnout.
You shall practice good sportsmanship and avoid yelling at your child about the child's performance during or after games, even when said child deserves it.
You shall realize youth sports are for kids, not adults, and not compare your child to another player or sibling in either a positive or negative manner.
You shall avoid critiquing your child's or any other player's game performance on the car ride home. You will only discuss the game if the child wants to.
You shall bring your child to practices and games on time and contact the coaches if your child cannot attend or will be late for a practice or game.
You will endeavor to always be a positive role model for all children and avoid complaining about or yelling at referees, even when they make bad calls or screw up royally. When tempted to violate this commandment, you will remind yourself referees are often volunteers, teenagers or in training themselves.
You shall understand that while winning is fun, youth sports research clearly shows kids would rather play on a losing team, than sit the bench on a winning one. This understanding will include the fact that all kids need to play significant minutes - not just your kid or the best ones - and make mistakes during games to have fun and improve. Children mature and progress at different rates. Michael Jordan was cut from the Varsity as a high school sophomore and Bill Russell was only 5'9" tall as a sophomore in high school.
You shall not coach your child or any other players from the sidelines or stands. If you have a problem with the "official" coach, you will address it in private with said coach. If you would like to coach, you will volunteer to be one.
You shall always remember you are the adult and act like one. It is more difficult for a child to deal with an out-of-control parent than a parent (that is, you) to deal with an out-of-control child.
By Jim Bado
COACHES – POOR SPORTSMANSHIP...HAS NO EXCUSE!
- Do you coach each game like it's a NCAA FINAL FOUR GAME and lose focus on the real intent?
- Do you place TOO MUCH focus on winning?
- Do you make the refs calls from the bench but only see the opposing teams infractions?
- Do you teach your players GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP or blame that 23 point loss on the refs?
- Are you a real role model in victory and defeat for your players and team?
- Are you aware of your parents as well as your players actions both on and off the court?
- Are you aware of any parents or players that may have addressed another coach, parent, or ref in a negative way?
- Do you handle negative parent conduct in any form with other players, coaches, or refs during a game and how do you address it?
- Are you always setting the right example?
- Do you try to develop all players skills and equalize playing time when possible to make the experience fun and enjoyable?
- Do you openly shout out instructions to your players to embarrass or expose weakness of the opposing players?
- Do you verbally/openly degrade less talented players by yelling out instructions like...Push em to the left?
- Do you let players or fans cheer when an opposing player fouls out of a game or misses a free throw?
- Do you take time to express your expectations to the refs and the skill level of your team with the other coach and refs before the game so everyone is on the same page?
- How do you assist the player, the parents for the player that has that occasional "meltdown" on the court when things do not always go the player's or team's way?
- How do you handle the player that's too emotional, cries, falls to the floor often, and appears injured frequently?
- Players sometimes do become injured but in appropriate unchecked situations it can incite emotion of opposing players, coaches, parents and the refs...think about it.
- Do you know and teach the proper technique on picks and screens to avoid the risk of injury to the opposing players?
- Do you take the time and effort to update your knowledge of the Rules of Basketball and not think you remember the rules from when you played or previously coached?
- Do you and your team have a good relationship and sportsmanship with mutual respect with everyone (Opposing Coaches-Players-Parents AND refs)? We will all be true winners then!
By Jim Bado
COACH AND FAN CONDUCT EXPECTATIONS
As basketball season heats up, so does the competitive nature of the spectators and coaches. In light of recent events, following is a gentle reminder of our coach and fan conduct rules:
- Referees are volunteers. Coaches are not permitted to question calls made by referees (except to clarify a rule). Coaches are prohibited from criticizing referees during or after a game while at the gym. A coach violating this rule may be ejected from the game and repeated offenses may be cause for suspension or removal of the coach.
- Parents and spectators may not question calls or criticize referees, coaches, players or scorekeepers at any time. A parent or spectator violating this rule shall be immediately ejected from the gym. Repeated offenses may be cause for permanent removal from the gym. A 2-shot technical foul may also be awarded. If an ejected parent or spectator does not comply with the ejection, a disqualification or forfeit of the game may be awarded.
Please remember these rules when coaching/attending the games. These rules are in place to protect the volunteering referees from abuse and also to protect the coaches and fans from themselves.
We will be happy to stop the game to allow overzealous parents and spectators to cool down. Parents or spectators with strong opinions about how the game should be played should volunteer to referee or to help coach, rather than criticize from the bleachers. We are always looking for volunteers – contact an RAA Board member after the game to discuss how you can help.
The RAA Board