When parents stop and analyze the athletic experience for their children, the reasons they want their kids to play sports involve providing an opportunity to develop physically, emotionally and to enjoy.

The side-benefits of playing sports include giving kids a good opportunity to learn how to work and get along with others, to take good risks in a public arena and survive, to learn to set and achieve goals by developing positive work habits, to learn how to succeed and fail with dignity, and develop friendships outside the family unit that last a lifetime.

Player’s role Coach’s Role Parent’s Role
• Play the game for fun
• Be gracious when you win
and graceful when you lose
• Respect and abide by the
rules of the game
• Put the team above yourself
in every situation
• Accept decisions made by
those in authority
• Demonstrate respect to your
opponents, coaches and
• Be accountable for your own
• Develop a teachable spirit
that allows you to take
correction as a compliment
• Accept and embrace the
discipline involved in
athletics, because it benefits
the team
• Develop a feeling of pride,
based upon “shared joy” of
the team, and do not have
pride that emanates from
arrogance or a sense of
• Coach for the love of the
game and the love of the
• Put the welfare of your
athletes above winning
• Accept and abide by the
judgement of the officials
and rules of the game as
“mutual agreements”
required to play within the
spirit of the game
• Reward effort and behavior
instead of outcome
• Give dignity to mistakes
made with full speed and
• Lead with character and by
• Put the needs of the team
ahead of any individual
• Constantly work to improve
your knowledge of the game
and your ability to teach the
game to your athletes
• Be willing to confront
incorrect behavior or less
than an all-out effort
• Encourage multiple-sport
• Keep the game simple and
• Be willing to work with
parents for the benefit of the
individual athlete
• Develop a positive-
demanding coaching style
• Be a model, not a critic,
model appropriate behavior,
poise and confidence
• Attend as many games as
• Do everything possible to
make the athletic experience
positive for your child and
• View the game with TEAM
goals in mind
• Attempt to relieve
competitive pressure, not
increase it
• Encourage multiple-sport
• Release your children to the
coach and to the team
• Look upon opponents as
friends involved in the same
• Accept the judgement of the
officials and coaches, remain
in control
• Accept the results of each
game, do not make excuses
• Demonstrate losing and
winning with dignity
• Dignify mistakes made by
athletes who are giving their
best effort and concentration
• Be an encourager –
encourage athletes to keep
their perspective in both
victory and defeat
• Be a good listener
• Accept the goals, roles and
achievements of your child

Used with Bruce Brown’s permission (