Game Day

Game Officials Deserve Respect of Parents, Players, and Coaches

Parents and youth sports officials never seem to be on the same page. There always seems to be some tension between them. It often seems to parents that the person officiating must be seeing a different game than they are. Every call seems to go against their child's team. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Mandatory Parent Training Needed to Improve Youth Sports Sidelines

This is one challenge from which, I believe, we should not back down if we hope to change how parents behave on the youth sports sidelines. The need for a change in parent behavior is well documented. Simply put, the number of times when parents act inappropriately towards officials, players, coaches and other parents is unacceptably high. Most agree that something must be done, but are unsure whether they want to put in the effort required to change the status quo.

Teaching Kids to Relax Playing Sports

Parents can help young athletes overcome anxiety and have more fun playing sports, including a technique called performance exhaling.

Verbal and Physical Abuse of Game Officials and Poor Sportsmanship Cause of Shortage

The tragic death of soccer referee Ricard Portillo is just the latest example of the abuse of game officials and poor sportsmanship that has led to a shortage of referees, leading leagues and states legislatures to enact rules of conduct and criminalize assaults.

Losing Perspective: The Dangers Of "Tunnel Vision"

One of the challenges of coaching youth sports is to incorporate mental skills training so that young athletes are not just learning physical skills but also developing their mental skills. These mental skill performance principles help players play better on the field.


I believe we all want to be good parents. We encourage our children's participation in sports because we believe they (and us) benefit through their involvement in the group experience. We want to believe that our attendance and support helps our children play better on the field. Most of us want what is best for our children on the athletic field. We want a positive environment that teaches the values of positive sportsmanship...

Good Idea to Criticize Your Child's Athletic Performance??

The last thing a child needs to hear is a parent criticizing their performance or giving coaching pointers. What they want most is unconditional support and encouragement, not criticism.

Yelling from the Sideline Can Be Emotional Abuse

Children who have loud and noisy parents are at a disadvantage playing sports. Focusing on the game with a screeching parent in the background is next to impossible. A mother is always the first to pick out the voice of her child crying, "Mom! Mom!" in a crowded store. It's the same way with kids. It doesn't matter how many fans are yelling, they can pick out their parents' voices through the din.

Talking With A Child After a Poor Game or Performance

Shari Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., provides tips on how parents can  talk to a young athlete after he has performed poorly in a game or competition, and the importance of consoling the child, rather than putting him down.

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