Thou shall be sure that your child knows
that--win or lose, scared or heroic--you love him/her, appreciate
his/her efforts, and that you are not disappointed in him/her.
Thou shall try your best to be completely
honest about your child's athletic capability, his/her competitive
attitude, his/her sportsmanship--and his/her actual skill level.
Thou shall be helpful--but don't coach
him/her on the way to the rink, track, court, field or pool--or on
the way back home.
Thou shall teach your child to enjoy
competition for competition's sake, remembering that there are
lessons to be learned in winning as well as in losing.
Parents: Try not to relive your
athletic life through your child--or try to create an athletic
career to replace the one that you never had.
Thou shall not compete with the
coach--remember, in many cases, the coach becomes a hero to the
athletes, a person who can do no wrong.
Thou shall not compare the skill, courage
or attitudes of your child with that of other members of the squad
or team--at least not in his/her hearing.
Thou shall get to know the coach so that
you can be sure that his\her philosophy, attitudes, ethics, and
knowledge are such that you are happy to expose your child to
Always remember that children tend to
exaggerate, both when praised and when criticized. Temper your
reactions when they bring home tales of woe--or tales of heroics.
Thou shall make a point of understanding
courage and the fact that it is relative. Some of us climb mountains
but fear flight-- some of us will want to fight but turn to jelly if
a spider crawls nearby. A child must learn: courage is not absence
of fear, but rather doing something in spite of fear.