Guest contributor to the Tennis Parents blog, Allistar McCaw is this week looking at how parents can set the right example to their children.

Actions speak louder than words. And with that in mind, kids look up to adults as the example. They learn self-control by watching us display self-control. Like a coach who remains calm and in control, sports parents who exhibit good sideline behavior provide young athletes with an appropriate role model for handling the emotional ups and downs of competition.

Below are 6 tips to help you succeed and set a great example as a sports parent:

1. Don’t only support your child
Try support the entire group or team. Instead of only focusing on your own child, try cheer and compliment the entire team. When you do this, you not only create a positive and healthy environment for your child, but for all.

2. Practice good karma
What goes around comes around. Unless you have something positive to say, don’t gossip or speak negatively about other players, parents or coaches in front of kids or others. 3. Don’t put your child on a pedestal Even if they are the star of the team, kids need to support one another and play as a team. Parents need to do the same. Encourage all, no matter what level they may be.

3. Applaud the other team or player
Congratulate any good play. If kids see the adults applauding good plays made by the other team or child, they will be getting a very important message: that the game isn’t such a life-or death thing. It’s about FUN and effort remember?

4. Show Gratitude
Thank everyone who contributed, especially the officials and coaches. Expressions of gratitude go a long way to motivating officials and coaches to continue doing the job they are doing.

5. Reward effort, not the result
The fact your child is out there and doing it, should make you proud enough. Applaud and recognize their attitude and work ethic over the outcome or result. This will help them develop a growth mindset.

6. Help them enjoy the journey
At times step back and let them take ownership and accountability. Remember it’s about the life lessons as well.


Allistair McCaw


About Allistair McCaw:

Mindset & Performance Coach, Author & speaker.

Twitter @allistairmccaw
Books by Allistair:
Champion Minded: Achieving Excellence in Sports and Life

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