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14 Key Points for Parents in Sports

  • Tell Your Child Every Time You Watch Them Play, "I Loved Watching You Play Today!" Please Think About How That Would Make you Feel! I Know That Would Make Anyone Feel Great!
  • Do not soften the blow for your child after a loss: If they lose teach them to not make excuses, to learn from the loss and move on. Many times the players move on from the loss quicker than the parents. We get better through setbacks if we face our challenges head on. It also make us mentally tougher and resilient....two important life skills.
  • Teach them to be a part of something greater than themselves: Teach them this by applauding their effort and their coachability. Do not coach them to look to score, "take over" the game, show their talent or shoot more. If you teach them to be "me" players they will miss the experience of being part of a team. Teamwork teaches humility and makes life work.....all players need to learn it.
  • Do not coach your child: Coaching your child may confuse your child. Allow them to experience how to deal with others. Encourage your child to listen to the coach. The #1 advice I could give a parent is find a program where you agree with the philosophy of the coach and then allow them to coach. A very simple definition of each person's role puts it into perspective: Players= Play, Coaches= Coach, Parents= Support, Officials= Officiate. Make sure to play your role well and not someone else's role.
  • Do not approach your child's coach about playing time: Encourage your child to speak with their coach. A coach should be honest with their players about where they stand and what they need to do to improve. Your job is not to approach the coach about playing time. Your child needs to learn to advocate for themselves and learn how to communicate with others. Remember that a player being a valuable member of the team is is not all about playing time. Also, they may be a less experienced player and may need to develop. Many players do not come into their own until their senior year.
  • Do not compare your child to others, but encourage them to be the best that they can be! If a parent is constantly trying to have their child be better than someone else, the child will always be second best....but if you encourage your child to be the best they can be and compete to be that every day, they will get better and they will reach their potential!
  • Cheer for all!...AND never speak negatively about your child or another child or a coach: We would not want anyone to speak negatively about our child, so do not speak of someone else's child negatively.
  • Be Self-Disciplined: Sports are an emotional game. They can bring out the best in us and the worst in us if we are not careful. Keep your emotions under control. Would you want someone yelling at you from the stands? Would you want someone yelling at you at work?
  • Let it be your child's experience: In order to do so, we must acknowledge that we cannot control the experience of our child...that is why it is called an experience. When we experience something we will have good times and bad times, great moments and average plays, we will deal with victory and defeat....allow your child to experience these highs and lows in sport which will allow them to deal with the ups and downs of life......If we try to control the experience our child is not being prepared for life.
  • Teach them to play for the love of the game (NOT A TROPHY): Teach your child that they are playing for the love of the game, for their teammates, for the love of competition....think about if you could teach your child to be a great competitor, a great teammate and to love what they do!.....that would be youth sports we need to get away from the fact that everyone gets a trophy......if we do, we are teaching them to play for the reward rather than understanding that the reward is playing the game itself!
  • Focus on the process: Sports like life are a process.....and we need to attack the process every day to grow and get better.....The process is hard work, knowledge, attitude, perseverance, teamwork, coachability, dealing with success and failure.....and winning is the sports and in life.
  • Enjoy the journey of your child: Any journey we take is bound to have great moments, some bad moments, and some moments that we laugh at.....enjoy the journey with your child and do not agonize over every single play, a decision by the coach, a good game/ bad game by the team or your child. In 25 years you will wish you were watching your child enjoy the journey!
  • Be a parent, not a fan: Your child will make mistakes, your child is not always perfect.....teach them when needed and make sure to compliment when needed.
  • Do not make excuses: "The Teacher or coach does not like me" is a familiar the end, coaches/ teachers like children that work hard, our coachable, have a great attitude, show perseverance, are a good team, know how to deal with success and failure....teach your child to show the coach these attributes.

Parent/Athlete Expectations

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the other and provide greater benefits to our student-athletes. As parents, when your child becomes involved in our program, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on them. This begins with clear communication from the coach of the student’s program.

The communication you should expect from coaches:
  • Basic coaching program philosophy
  • Locations and times of all practices and contests
  • Team requirements; e.g., practices, special equipment, lettering policy, awards, team rules
  • The procedure followed if a student is injured
  • The discipline that may result
  • Sportsmanship
  • Transportation expectations
  • Other School, State, National rules/regulations
Communication coaches expect from parents:
  • Specific program concerns expressed directly to the coach
  • Notification of any schedule conflict well in advance
As your child becomes involved in the programs at Scarborough High School, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is also important that they understand that there may be times when things do not go as they wish. At these times, discussion with the coach is encouraged.

Examples of these situations:
  • Treatment of your child, mentally or physically
  • Ways to help your child improve
  • Concerns about your child’s attitude
  • Academic support and college opportunities
It is very difficult to accept your child’s not playing as much as or in the role you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make judgments based on what they believe to be best for all students involved. As you have seen from the list above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other situations should be left to the discretion of the coach.

Examples of these situations:
  • Team strategy
  • Other student-athletes
  • Playing time
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent. These are encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following steps should be followed:
  • Conflicts should be resolved between the student-athlete and the coach. Parents are welcome to provide support for the student-athlete through conversations with the coach after the initial player/coach discussion.
  • Contact the coach to set up an appointment. The contact should be directed to the coach.
  • Meetings should be held in a professional setting in the school building during school/professional time.
  • It is inappropriate to approach a coach immediately prior to, during, or at the conclusion of a contest or at any other unscheduled time. These can be emotional times for both the parent and the coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.
  • If, after a good faith attempt to discuss a situation or resolve an issue without reasonable satisfaction, the next step is to contact the Director of Athletics and Student Activities to further discuss the situation. 
At its best, athletic competition can hold intrinsic value for our entire Red Storm community and society as a whole. It is a symbol of a great ideal: pursuing victory with integrity. Everyone (administrators, officials, coaches, parents, student-athletes, and fans) involved in athletic competition has a duty to treat the traditions of the sport and other participants with respect. Disrespectful behavior involving verbal ill-treatment of opponents and officials, profane or belligerent trash-talking, taunting and unseemly celebrations do not have a place at high school competitions and will not be tolerated in the Red Storm athletic program. Your admission to a competition is not a license to practice poor sportsmanship!

Tips for Practicing Good Sportsmanship

  • Keep your emotions and attitudes balanced.
  • Appreciate a good play, no matter who makes it.
  • Remember that Scarborough High School and your sports program will be held responsible for or receive the praise for YOUR individual conduct at games!
  • Fans may not remember the final score, however, they will remember the fan in Section 3 who made a fool out of him or herself.
  • You want others to treat you the way you want to be treated. How many of us want to be treated with disrespect?
  • We believe participation in sports is an extension of the classroom. Would it be OK to harass students in a math class for their performance on a test?
  • When you witness others practicing poor sportsmanship, help them to be more successful in the future by role modeling a positive attitude. All of our behaviors will collectively reflect upon the Red Storm athletic program and help to form our reputation in the community.
  • Sportsmanship begins with you!

Conflict Resolution

Sportsmanship is Everyone's Responsibility
Thank you, parents, for allowing our athletic staff to coach your child. Many individuals contribute to the success of each individual student-athlete and program at Scarborough High School. It is one of our goals that we work together as partners to provide the best opportunities for our students. Our mission is to promote participation and sportsmanship while developing good citizens through equitable opportunities, learning experiences and positive recognition for students while maximizing the achievement of educational goals. It is our hope that this will answer some of your questions regarding your child’s eligibility as well as provide you with some tips to enhance your student’s experience as a student-athlete
  • Be Supportive of the Coach
    In front of your child be supportive and positive of the coach’s decisions. If you have problems with what the coach is doing, it is best to talk directly with the coach.

  • Teach Respect for Authority
    There will be times when you disagree with a coach or official, but always remember they are trying their best and are trying to be fair. Show good sportsmanship by being positive.

  • Let the Coach Do the Coaching
    When your child is competing, let the coach do the coaching. You can teach sportsmanship and how to deal with success and failure. Develop your child’s character and teach life skills that athletics bring to the forefront.

  • Let Your Child Create Their Own Sports Memories
    Separate your sports life from theirs. Let your child discover their own sports successes. Help to calm the stormy waters, but let them handle the navigational problems. They will be their own person which will most likely be different than you.

  • Help Your Child Learn Through Failure
    The way your child handles failure can help them to face certain failures life will throw them in the future. The worst time for you as a parent to give advice is immediately after a disappointment. Let your child cope in their own way, then, at some later time, they will be much more receptive to words of correction or advice from you.

  • Get to Know the Coach
    Since the coach has a powerful influence on your child, take the time to attend the preseason parent meeting and get to know the coach’s philosophy, expectations, and knowledge.

  • Focus On Your Child as an Individual
    Focus on what your child does well and where they need to improve. Forget about the progress or success of other athletes.

  • Listen to Your Child...But Stay Rational
    Always listen to your child, but remember to stay rational until you have investigated the situation. Remember, students can exaggerate their woes and heroics.

  • Be Mindful of Your Role as a Role Model
    Take a good, honest look at your actions and reactions in the athletic arena. These actions are a big cue to your child and to others around you.

  • Show Unconditional Love
    The most important thing - show your child you love them, win or lose.