Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Parental Sportsmanship


It is good to encourage your child by cheering from the sidelines but screaming is not appropriate. If it is a team sport, constantly cheering for one individual singles that person out and may discourage others in the team – so cheer for the whole team.


Only give good comments like “well done”, “good play” etc. including your comments to opposing participants. The old adage of: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” applies here. If you really cannot do this and you are the one barking, shouting and yelling with anger – you shouldn’t be there! Children will easily pick up your comments and mannerisms, and replay them with perfect mimicry. This also runs true for when you are watching sport on TV.


Give your congratulations to your child after every sports occasion, regardless of the result. If they trained hard and did their best then this is their due. Giving praise during and after training sessions are also great confidence boosters. Certainly do not chastise them for what they did poorly. Your child will do this to themselves if they have not performed to the best of their own abilities. In these circumstances, help them to focus on what they need to do to improve.


The media are very good at highlighting the bad behavior of sporting celebrities, which gives the impression that everyone is like this. However, there are many sporting professionals who are good sports, so seek these people out and highlight them to your child(ren).


Sports for children should be about fun – it is just a game! However, many parents push their children too hard and this takes away the fun. Ensure your behavior encourages and motivates rather than being oppressive and over bearing. Leave them to find out which sports they do and don’t enjoy so that what they do is fun. Encourage them to have a sense of accomplishment for what they do.


This is to be undertaken off of and away from the sports area. Tell them to do their best and enjoy themselves. After this, keep quiet! It is the team management’s role to give instruction to the participant(s), not yours. Shouting and giving orders from the sideline will only seek to confuse your child and annoy those whose job it really is. Sit back and enjoy - if you find this difficult, move yourself further away from the sports area so you cannot interfere but still give your child support by being there.


Do not interfere with the management team. Certainly do not instruct them on how the sport should be played and the strategy employed. Certainly do not seek to question their decisions, especially if your child is kept as a reserve, or only allowed to participate for part of the time only. If you have a tendency to become involved the best thing is to watch the sport as far away from the management team as possible.


Leave the officials to do their job, certainly do not harangue, question or insult them regarding decisions they have or haven’t made. Umpires are human and will make mistakes, sometimes to your child’s advantage and sometimes not. This is part of life so let it ride without any outbursts from you. The management team are there to complain should there be any outrageous decisions or bias treatment by the officials.


Many children’s sporting events take place in public spaces where pets are allowed. Just because they are permitted does not mean to say you should take them, no matter how well behaved they are. Not everyone likes animals and some of the children may be intimidated by them – especially big dogs. Dogs do like to chase and running children and balls can be tempting toys to play with! If you must take your pet either leave it in a car or put into a pet crate so that it cannot interfere with the sport or the participants.

Role Model

Sporting and team activities are all about good, healthy and friendly competition and this is why we encourage children to participate in such events. Your function is to encourage and support them, giving praise and nice comments – perfect sportsmanship. They will see this in you and look to emulate you and your behavior, this is called good parenthood.

Sports Area

As a spectator, your place is on the sidelines. You are neither a participant nor a member of the management team, so do not go onto the sports area. If your child is hurt, do not run on to give assistance, stay where you are. If it is serious a member of the management team will have the child taken off the field – then it is OK for you to go and help. Alternatively the management team will look around wildly, seeking out parents with a certain look – you’ll know it when you see it - in these circumstances it will be OK to go onto the sports area.

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