FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What types of Communication by parents will foster positive sports participation involvement by their children?
  2. How can I communicate my support?
  3. Ten Questions to Ask Before Asking Who Won?
  4. What are ways parents can help reduce anxiety in their child?
  5. What are ways that parents can promote intrinsic motivation in their child?
  6. How parents can support sports participation in terms of rest, nutrition, and academics?
  7. How can parents support sports participation by way of skill development?

What types of Communication by parents will foster positive sports participation involvement by their children?

Follow the 10 Commandments of Effective Communication

  1. Be HONEST
    • Don’t make promises that you won’t be able to keep.
    • Be a positive role model.
  2. Be a good listener
    • Active Listener- listen without judgment or comments
  3. Be consistent
    • Try to be encouraging whenever the chance arises.
    • Be consistent with discipline.
  4. Be empathetic
    • Try to put your self into your child’s shoes.
    • Remember what it was like to be a kid.
  5. Do not be sarcastic
    • Sarcasm is never uplifting.
  6. Praise and criticize behavior, not personality
    • Give positive feedback
    • Avoid saying “You always…” or “You never…”
  7. Respect the integrity of others
    • Be a good role model.
    • Support your child’s coach.
  8. Use positive nonverbal cues
    • Body Language (high fives, thumbs up, smiles, hugs, etc.)
    • Tone of voice “Good Job!”
  9. Practice skills with your child
    • Let them know their participation is important and practice with them at home
    • Let them “teach you” what they learned
  10. Interact consistently with your child’s teammates/siblings
    • Treat your child as an individual
    • Don’t compare their performance to others


How can I communicate my support?

  • Focus on your child’s best. Not everyone can be THE best at the same time. Everyone has the capability to do THEIR best. Focus on your child’s strengths and help them to develop them.
  • Don’t be the sideline coach. The reason the coach gets paid is TO BE THE COACH. Don’t undermine his/her experience by coaching from the sidelines.
  • Get involved in fund raising and other team events, besides the games. Kid’s appreciate it when their parents make an effort to be part of the team


Ten Questions to Ask Before Asking Who Won?

  1. How did it go?
  2. Did you have fun?
  3. Did you play in the game?
  4. Did your friends get to play?
  5. Which other team did you play?
  6. Did you get to hit or kick the ball?
  7. Did you run fast?
  8. Did you get tired?
  9. Did the coach tell you when to come to practice?
  10. Would you like some milk and cookies?


What are ways parents can help reduce anxiety in their child?

What is anxiety?

  • It is an emotion of a perceived threat
  • The performer feels something may go wrong, outcome may not be successful, and that performance failure may be experienced.
  • The child can feel tense, nervous, or afraid
  • All children feel some anxiety, but as a parent, you want to help decrease the level of anxiety.

What can causes anxiety in children?

  • Fear of failing will cause their level of anxiety to go because they don’t want to let their teammates, coaches, or parents down.
  • Fear of success can cause their level to go up because they are afraid of doing something right once and never being able to preform at that level again.
  • Lack of skill development makes a child unsure of his or herself, which can cause their anxiety level to increase.
  • Children are not prepared enough for game like situations, so the anxiety gets the better of them and performance level decreases.

What are some of the symptoms of anxiety?

  • Your child may be tense and get upset easily.
  • They may seek out extra attention from you.
  • They may not want to go to practices or games.
  • Your child may tend to be quiet, keep to itself, or seem depressed.
  • They may complain of stomachaches, headache, and other body aches.

How to help reduce anxiety in your child.

  • Make sure the child is having fun in their sport.
  • Help them at home with working in skills and game situations.
  • Go to their games and practices, so they can get used to playing in front of an audience.
  • Focus on how well they performed and how they improving.
  • Talk about other things besides the sport.
  • Help them make small goals to achieve.
  • Build up their self-confidence by encouraging them at all times.
  • Focus on what they have achieved individually.
  • Make sure your child has a healthy nutritional diet, and has plenty of rest before and after each game and practice.
  • Develop a routine that will be followed every time your child has a game or practice.

What not to do.

  • Don’t focus on winning.
  • Don’t compare you child to other children and/or siblings.
  • Don’t expect them to perform well every time.
  • Don’t just drop your child off at games and practices.
  • Don’t yell at your child from the bleachers.


What are ways that parents can promote intrinsic motivation in their child?

What is intrinsic motivation?

  • Intrinsic motivation is self -discipline and the ability to push oneself.
  • Extrinsic motivation is doing something for the rewards, prize, or avoidance of punishment.

Why do we want intrinsic motivation?

  • Children with internal motivation and internal locus of control will take responsibility for their actions.
  • Have a higher self-esteem and sense of worth
  • Have greater self-efficacy
  • Willing to take risks
  • Develops self-reliance and goal setting

What things can I do as a parent, to promote intrinsic motivation in my child?

  • Help your child set reasonable and attainable goals
  • Don’t use bribery or threat of punishment for performance
  • Encourage practice at home
  • Focus on effort rather than outcome
  • Positive Communication.


How parents can support sports participation in terms of rest, nutrition, and academics?

Reasons why Rest is Important:

  • Kids can become sick and hurt their bodies.
  • Kids should not participate in one sport; they need to rest from one and kids need to play others.
  • Kids cannot enjoy themselves if they are always tired.
  • Kids should always try to go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Kids will perform better when well rested.Sleep is necessary for your body, it is also very important for your brain. Most kids between the ages of 5&12 sleep about 5-6 hours a night. Some kids need to sleep a little more and some need to sleep a little less. Parents need to help kids realize that sleep is not boring or a punishment, they should sit their kids down and explain that while they are sleeping their bodies and brain are both working and resting. For most kids sleeping comes pretty naturally. But some others have a hard time getting the rest they need. Here are some tips to help kids get their rest. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, don’t drink soda, or eat chocolate, or anything else sweet before sleeping, don’t watch scary movies or TV, exercise is great to help your kids go to sleep, taking a warm bath before going to sleep, and reading a bed time story always helps them fall asleep.

    Fatigue is a very common symptom during adolescence. These teenagers complain of exhaustion, having no energy or being sleepy all the time. While fatigue from lack of sleep, or strenuous physical activity, or emotional stress to be expected, unexplained weariness may be a sign of a more serious disease.

    • Anemia (“low blood count”) This is commonly seen in teen girls who put themselves on strict diets to stay trim and fails to replace the iron they lose every month during menstruation.
    • Infectious mononucleosis is commonly seen in teenagers and extreme tiredness in their most common feature. Other less frequent illnesses that have energy loss include hepatitis, tuberculosis, and thyroid disease.
    • Medications that you take for allergies and other minor conditions can cause tiredness. Illegal drugs and alcohol will also cause teen fatigue.

    The daily nutritional recommendations for a child athlete are:

    • Water
    • Carbohydrates
    • Breakfast
    • Vegetables
    • Milk
    • Snacks
    • ProteinChildren who are athletes can improve their performance if their daily food intake is appropriate. All nutrients are important for a healthy child, but water and carbohydrates deserve special attention for the child athlete. Water is often the most overlooked nutrient for active children. Children have more skin per body weight, yet they produce less perspiration. Because of this, their body temperature can rise rapidly. Parents and coaches should always supply plenty of water before, during, and after practices and games to ensure the children keep hydrated. Carbohydrates are very important because they are the primary energy source for active children. At least two thirds of the food a child consumes everyday should be from a mixture of mostly complex carbohydrates (breads, cereals, etc.) and some simple carbohydrates (candy, sugar sodas, etc.). For an example of what your child should eat each day for a healthier lifestyle see the food guide pyramid. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because energy for the afternoon begins in the morning. Children do not have to eat a traditional breakfast to get the benefits. Any high-carbohydrate food that a child likes is acceptable. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, baked potatoes, rice pudding, fruit, milk shakes made with low-fat ice cream or yogurt, instant breakfast, breakfast bars, etc., can supply needed calories and carbohydrates to keep your child going all day. Have you heard this before? “If it’s green and has leaves, I’m not going to eat it.” If you have, your child may be missing essential vitamins and minerals vegetables have to offer. Extra servings of fruit or a single multi-vitamin with 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance can be a good substitution. They can supply the necessary nutrients that may be missing if your child will not eat vegetables. Most children also need 3-4 servings of dairy foods daily. However, some children refuse to drink milk and others cannot tolerate it, but the same nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and calcium) can be found in low-fat dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, frozen yogurt, and even ice cream. Snack foods can also provide essential calories, carbohydrates, and other needed nutrients. Some nutrient-rich snack ideas include fruit, peanut butter, cheese and crackers, oatmeal-raisin cookies, banana or rice pudding, popcorn, pretzels, fruit muffins, cheese sticks, and banana or zucchini bread. Most sports magazines and television aids promote protein supplements for muscle growth in adults. Children eat more protein than they actually need, so protein supplements are not necessary and may even be unhealthy for them.


Having a child participating in sports offers many benefits. Some of which can be life long lessons, such as:

  • The importance and value of teamwork.
  • New physical skills.
  • To be self-confident.

If your child is struggling in school and has poor grades take away things like, television, computer time, hanging out with friends, and the telephone, but removing them from their sports team may be more harmful than helpful. Many valuable lessons and responsibilities are taught through sports; in fact their participation may very well help their academic achievements. By pulling a child off the team for poor grades lets the child know it’s o.k. to quit. One way to solve any confusion if situation arises that your child may be getting poor grades in school is that you have a plan or contract established before the season begins. Put stipulations on your child, and if they are not met than they will deal with the consequences discussed at the time the contract was established. Be fair and consistent with your discipline. Hopefully these suggestions will help your child have more success in the classroom as well as in their participation in sports.


How can parents support sports participation by way of skill development?

To address this question properly parents must ask themselves, “What is skill development and how can I help my child progress.” A skill is an athlete’s ability to choose and perform the right techniques at the right time, successfully, consistently, and with a minimum of effort. Athletes use their skill to achieve athletic objectives e.g. catching a baseball. Skills are acquired and therefore have to be learned. There are four different areas of skill development parents can help their child athlete develop:

  • Cognitive – intellectual skills that require thought processes
  • Perceptual – involves interpretation of information
  • Motor – movement and muscle control
  • Perceptual motor – involve the thought, interpretation and movement skills

The athlete’s ability to function in a sports atmosphere depends on the combination of

the four skill development areas, the child’s physical abilities, and learned techniques. Physical education classes at most public schools are a good source for developing skills, locomotor, nonlocomotor, and manipulative. However, if a child wants to play at a competitive level further development will be required. The learning of physical skills requires correct instruction and practice on a regular basis. Each child has different ability levels that allow for skill development. Ability is the physical make up of an athlete, which we inherit from our parents. Technique development helps to introduce new skills, reinforce previously learned ones or to correct faults. Drills should be selected to produce a specific effect. e.g. Running Drills are used to develop important components of proper running techniques. Whichever drills are used they must be correct for the required action and should be the result of careful analysis and accurate observation. Skill development = ability + technique. How do we teach a new skill to a child? The teaching of a new skill can be achieved by various methods of instruction:

  • Verbal instruction
  • Demonstration
  • Video
  • Diagrams
  • Photo sequences

Coaches, parents, and teachers can use these instructional methods to develop skills in young athletes. Buying the best equipment money can buy will not develop the skills necessary to play youth sports. It takes educated parents who realize there is more to the process than just buying a nice pair of cleats; it takes a plan that will develop the athlete’s skills, abilities, and techniques.