PCA Resource zone

Parent/Caregiver Game Day Tips

Here are ways that parents/caregivers can contribute to a positive youth sports culture so that athletes will have fun and develop life skills to last a lifetime.

Before the Game

  • Commit to behaving respectfully towards all involved in the game in action and language no matter what others may do.
  • Tell your athlete before each game that you will be proud of them regardless of how well they perform.

During the Game

  • Use praise and positive recognition to keep your athlete’s spirits up and help them play their best.
  • Encourage their teammates too!
  • Do not instruct your athlete during game action or at breaks; let the coaches coach.
  • Cheer good plays by both teams.
  • Mention good calls by the official to other parents/caregivers.
  • If you disagree with an official’s call, BE SILENT!
  • If other spectators yell at officials, gently remind them to behave respectfully.
  • Don’t do anything in the heat of the moment that you will regret after the game.
  • Ask yourself, What do I want to model right now for my athlete?
  • Remember to have fun and enjoy the game.

After the Game

  • Thank the officials for doing a difficult job for little or no pay.
  • Thank the coaches for their commitment and effort.
  • When reviewing the game with your athlete, ask rather than tell. Instead of immediately sharing your opinions or telling them how they can improve, ask questions such as “What did you learn from that game?” or “What was your favorite play?” or “What was the most fun part of that game?”
  • Remember to give your athlete truthful and specific praise…not just the typical “good game” but, for example, “I saw how well you moved your feet on defense.”
  • Tell your athlete again that you are proud of them whether the team won or lost.