It’s the start of a new year and a new sports season for young athletes everywhere. As a parent, you want nothing more than for your children to succeed and enjoy the game they play. There is no better way to make their sports experience enjoyable than to create an exciting and supportive environment each game day that your athlete wants to compete in!
There are countless ways to produce an environment that is enjoyable, not only for your child, but also for every player and parent associated with the team. Use your imagination!
To get you started, here are a couple of ideas that are sure to help make your young athlete’s game day experience better than ever!
- Learn every player's name on your child's team.
Small things such as this truly make the athletes feel like an integral and wanted part of the team while also helping coaches and other parents feel more engaged.
- Create a sense of team spirit in original ways.
A few examples of how you can creatively support your young athlete’s team are:
- Wear team colors to games.
- Create positive and supportive signage.
- Make unique decorations (team buttons, jewelry, etc.).
- Create team cheers.
These are just a few examples, but whatever you choose to do make sure you include all the players and parents from the team. Make these creations a total TEAM PROCESS! You’ll be amazed at the amount of team pride that this creates.
- Don't be critical!
Whether it is the way you interact with the officials, coaches, or athletes playing the game, be positive. You may think your actions and language are not offending anyone, but you can be certain that others, including your child, will take notice. One person with a negative attitude can change the entire atmosphere at a game, so keep things in perspective; it’s just a game.
- Be a willing volunteer.
As a parent, you want to be a role model at home, but it’s equally important to carry this over at your young athlete’s events. Being a volunteer is a great way to stay involved with your child’s interests, not to mention creating the possibility of forming new and rewarding relationships with other volunteers.
A few ways you can volunteer are by:
- Being a coach (Head or Assistant).
- Keeping the scorebook or scoreboard.
- Bringing snacks and drinks for the players.
- Assisting with the set up and break down of the facilities.
- Connect with the families on your team away from the field.
Be willing to put in the time to interact with the families and other athletes on your child’s team. By doing team activities together, you can create lasting friendships. The personal connection formed with one another will help make every game day for your athletes electric!
Here are some ideas on how your young athletes and parents can connect away from the game:
- Have team meals (pre- or post-game).
- Go to the movies as a team.
- Have a team party.
- Go see a professional, semiprofessional, or collegiate game that's the same sport as your team.
- Do missions work to serve your local community.
- Connect through social media ➞ Make a team page where parents can share team pictures, schedule events, and stay in touch with one another.
What are some additional ways you help make your young athlete's game day experience better? Let us know by posting on our Facebook Page.