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Sideline Suggestions
(10 Things Kids Say They Don't Want Their Parents to Do)
By Darrell J. Burnett, Ph.D.

1. Don't yell out instructions. During the game I'm trying to concentrate on
what the coach says and working on what I've been practicing. It's easier
for me to do my best if you save instructions and reminders for practice
or just before the game.

2. Don't put down the officials. This embarrasses me and I sometimes
wonder whether the official is going to be tougher on me because my
parents yell.

3. Don't yell at me in public. It will just make things worse because I'll be
upset, embarrassed, or worried that you're going to yell at me the next
time I do something "wrong."

4 Don't yell at the coach. When you yell about who gets to play what
position, it just stirs things up and takes away from the fun.

5. Don't put down my teammates. Don't make put-down remarks about any
of my teammates who make mistakes. It takes away from our team

6. Don't put down the other team. When you do this you're not giving us a
very good example of sportsmanship so we get mixed messages about
being "good sports."

7. Don't lose your cool. I love to see you excited about the game, but
there's no reason to get so upset that you lose your temper! It's our
game and all the attention is supposed to be on us.

8. Don't lecture me about mistakes after the game. Those rides home in
the car after the game are not a good time for lectures about how I
messed up -- I already feel bad. We can talk later, but please stay calm,
and don't forget to mention things I did well during game!

9. Don't forget how to laugh and have fun. Sometimes it's hard for me to
relax and have fun during the game when I look over and see you so
tense and worried.

10. Don't forget that it's just a game! Odds are, I'm not going to make a
career out of playing sports. I know I may get upset if we lose, but I also
know that I’m usually feeling better after we go get a pizza. I need to be
reminded sometimes that it’s just a game.

(From Playbook for Kids: A Parent's Guide to Help Kids Get the Most Out of
Sports. The Gatorade Company)