|This news on parents on sports is really good. Indeed parents play a very important role in the development and success of sports at school and eventually in greater Australia. For me, being a parent is not all about regulating the useplaystation portable, disciplining, loving and letting our kids be happy. It's much more and really, sky is the limit.
Parents form the backbone of junior sport: coaching, managing and helping out on the field and in the club. While their role is invaluable, every parent whose child plays in a team has an important part to play because the way kids act on the field can be a mirror image of how their parents act on the sidelines.
In a bid to emphasise this message, many sporting codes and associations ask parents to sign a "good behaviour" oath at the start of the season, and coaches (most of whom are mums and dads volunteering their time) now hold pre-season briefing sessions for parents, outlining their coaching philosophy, expectations of parents and hopes for the season ahead.
Cultivating a love of sport
All of this is happening in junior sport now because it is recognised that whether kids enjoy playing sport in a team, and continue throughout their junior years, is heavily influenced by how their parents act, says Paul Oliver, national manager of Play By The Rules, an online resource providing support and information on community and club sport.
"Children play sport to have fun and be with their friends," he says. "Whether they win or lose is not important at this stage, and should not be anyone's focus, including the parents'."
While this can all sound a bit like a politically correct "everyone's a winner" philosophy, the fact is we want our kids to play sport, join in a team and be happy to take part for a variety of proven physical and mental health benefits.
If parents are screeching less than constructive criticism at the kids or arguing with umpires' decisions, the likelihood of kids continuing to want to play reduces, Oliver says.