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November 10, 2016
How To Be A Supportive Parent in Sports
It’s natural as a parent to want your son or daughter to excel on the field or court. However, sometimes the urge to push your child in sports can go too far and create an unpleasant experience for everyone involved.
A survey of youth athletes found that 50% of children will quit organized sports by the age of 12 because of too much pressure and competition. Over 30% of the children surveyed wished parents weren’t watching their games because they yell too much and the kids feel pressured to play better. 
It’s important to remember that the boys and girls are out there to have fun and to learn. Parents should focus on helping them have the best experience possible. Here are a few tips on how you can be a supportive parent from the sidelines:
Give Encouragement
As one of the biggest influences on your child, maintaining a positive attitude and outlook from the sidelines is extremely important. Whether your child scores or makes a mistake, keep up the encouragement. In this developmental stage of your child’s athletic career, effort and good sportsmanship matter more than the outcome. Be a role model and give encouragement to your child’s teammates and show it’s important to cheer for everyone.
Build Self-Esteem
Participating in youth sports helps children build self-esteem, but it can be even more enhanced with your involvement. Take time between games to talk with your child and tell them what they are doing well and how they can improve. Help them set goals for the season and build up their confidence.
Reinforce Good Sportsmanship
i9 Sports coaches teach sportsmanship values to the athletes on a weekly basis. As a parent, you can reinforce those lessons and set a positive example for your child. Make an effort to be friendly to other parents, cheer on everyone’s kids and thank the referees. The more you demonstrate good sportsmanship, the more likely your child and others will pick up the same attitude.
Being a supportive parent on the sidelines creates a better experience for your child as well as referees, coaches and other parents and children. Good sportsmanship is  core value of i9 Sports, which is why we ask parents to take the Parental Pledge each season. This pledge encourages parents to refrain from negative language, encourage all the players and coaches and be a model of good sportsmanship. When parents take this pledge, it helps everyone have a better experience on the field. 
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