With the recent events at the high school level, sportsmanship has become a buzz word once again. It is awful that these things happen and unfortunate that only the examples of poor sportsmanship receive attention. During these times, it is critical to remember that everyone plays a role in promoting and developing good sportsmanship in our young hockey players.
Parents may have the greatest influence though. Children often see their parents as role models and look to replicate their actions. Here are 11 principles that parents can use to promote good sportsmanship by displaying it themselves and teaching it to their kids.
It is expected that all Minnesota Youth Hockey parents observe the following principles:
- Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment. I will encourage and support my child’s desire to play his/her chosen sport but will not pressure him/her into participating.
- I will remember that the game is fun. I will not taunt or disturb other fans, or embarrass my child by yelling at players, coaches, or officials.
- I will support and promote Fair Play by encouraging my child to play by the rules. I will display good sportsmanship by applauding a good effort by both teams in victory and defeat, and respecting players, coaches, and officials.
- I will remember that “wins” are based on my child’s performance, teamwork, and playing within the rules.
- I will recognize the importance of volunteer coaches and will take the time to attend team meetings to get to know my child’s coach’s philosophy, expectations, and guidelines. I will communicate with my child’s coaches and support them.
- I understand that when my child is on the ice, the coaches do the coaching. I will not yell instructions to my child from the sidelines or give my child instructions counter to those of the coach.
- I understand that it is my role to teach my child sportsmanship, how to deal with success and failure, and to support my child’s development in the game.
- I will strive to become knowledgeable about the rules of the game and support the official’s decisions on and off the ice.
- I understand the importance of skill development. For the lower age groups, I will remember that practices benefit my child more than games and competition.
- I will respect locker rooms as private areas for players, coaches, and officials.
- I will not place unreasonable expectations on my child.
I have read and understood the principles stated above that were put forth by Minnesota Hockey. I agree to abide by those principles with the understanding that if I do not follow them I may be asked to leave any practice, game, or event.