Tired of hearing about out-of-control youth-sports parents and coaches? So is the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
The alliance launched an initiative last week called the “Sports Parent Pledge,” which aims to restore some positivity in youth sports.
After parents sign up for the pledge, they’ll receive a free six-part weekly email series with resources and tips about making a positive impact in youth sports.
One of the weekly emails instructs parents to “separate [themselves] from [their] child’s failure so that [they] can use it as an opportunity to teach them about the value of perseverance.” Parents should remind their children that everyone makes mistakes, the email suggests, and help them learn from said mistakes. They can also have their children reflect on the positive aspects of their performance, even if the final result ended poorly.
Another of the weekly emails focuses on parents’ relationships with coaches, as “it’s important to know who will be working with your child.” It provides a handful of questions for parents to ask coaches, including details about a coach’s playing-time policy, frequency of practice, and the coach’s policy regarding missed practices.
“Right now the negative incidents in youth sports seem to outnumber the positive ones—at least the ones we hear about,” said John Engh, the alliance’s chief operating officer, in a statement. “The pledge will help bring together parents who are committed to making sports a fun and safe experience for kids and give them tools to help make a difference in their community.”
If only the alliance could convince the coaches from “Friday Night Tykes” to sign up.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.