Wrestling is the most nerve-wracking of all youth sports to watch. When your flesh and blood is on the mat against an opponent (who always seems bigger and stronger), there’s a natural impulse to try and control things – and not let anything “bad” happen to your child. Unfortunately, you cannot (and should not) control competition. Sometimes your emotions will get the best of you. Sometimes you may react in ways which would seem unimaginable in calmer times. Here are some tips from the National Alliance for Youth Sports on how to be a model sports parent…
- Remember the mat is like your child’s classroom. Respect that classroom.
- Make only positive, encouraging comments to the wrestlers on BOTH teams.
- Discuss your concerns away from wrestlers, and in particular away from your child.
- Respect the officials.
- Focus on fun and participation (rather than winning & losing).
- Control your emotions.
- Learn the rules of wrestling.
- Reinforce the coach’s instructions when practicing with your child at home.
- Remember, positive reinforcement is the key to improvement.
- Don’t undermine team morale.
- Participate in team activities.
A Message from the Coaching Staff:
If you’re ever confronted by an angry parent or a coach who’s acting like a fool, DO NOT respond. You’ll never get them to see your side of the situation – and bystanders will now see 2 fools (instead of just one). Practice sportsmanship. Kids learn the vast majority of their behavior from their own parents.