Because of our ongoing commitment to promote good sportsmanship at PHS events we encourage parents and spectators to support our student athletes by promoting good sportsmanship and using common sense.
- Don’t shout advice to your player or other players during the game. Shout encouragement? You bet. A steady stream of technique suggestions, though, has no value. Your insightful tips may conflict with the coach’s instruction.
- Don’t harass the refs. Parents that loudly harass the referee are embarrassing to the player and the team. When a parent makes a spectacle of himself/herself at a game, the player is embarrassed. If the referee is being harassed by a parent for a bad call, what does the player learn? He learns that the mistake wasn’t his fault. It was the result of poor officiating. This is a bad habit to get into.
- Don’t encourage your player to place the blame for their failures upon others. One of the benefits of playing sports is learning to accept responsibility instead of making excuses. Sometimes a call is hard to take for whatever reason. Such times are tests of emotional control. If a player can learn to bite his/her lip and move on, a parent can learn to sit quietly for a moment and let the emotion pass. Learning to cope with disappointment is a valuable life skill.
- Don’t blame the coach for your player’s problems or lack of playing time. Your child’s struggles to succeed are an opportunity for character and skill development. Let him/her work them out with your support, not your interference. A player has every right to ask a coach what needs to be done to earn more playing time, for example. But a parent stepping in to demand playing time is another thing altogether.
- Please don’t talk bad about the coach in front of your child. The worst thing a parent can do is take pot shots at the coach, criticizing decisions, and complaining about his leadership. For your player to have a positive experience in athletics it is critical that they respect the coach. For that to occur, parents must model that same respect. Encourage your son/daughter to talk to the coach if they have a problem. Then continue to support your child and the coach.
- Don’t razz or taunt the other team’s players. The other team’s players should be considered off limits. Yelling or making degrading comments toward someone else’s child is a shameful practice for an adult at a sporting event. Parents, who intend to disrupt, distract, or upset players exhibit the worst of poor sportsmanship.
As a parent, be involved in a positive way. Attend your child’s games as often as you can. Cheer for all the kids on the team. Help with fundraising. Assist with logistics. If you’re not sure how to help, ask the coach.
High school athletics are a stage for celebrating the efforts of young adults. We should all strive to develop the discipline to model appropriate behavior and the appreciation of the efforts of all participants. Make a difference – promote good sportsmanship!
Great Northern League Mission Statement*
Sportsmanship is modeling honor and respect through positive leadership by all participants and spectators under any circumstance.
Spectators, Coaches, Players and Cheerleaders . . . activities exist for their educational value. Please let your actions and conduct:
- Be Positive
- Be Respectful
- Exhibit Responsible Behavior
- Be Supportive
* The GNL sportsmanship mission statement is posted on the southeast wall of the PHS gym, and included in all the game programs.