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Guidelines for Parents of Children in Sports


On April 19, 2000, a letter that appeared in the Dear Abby column cited recommendations published by The Physician and Sportsmedicine in 1988.

  1. Make sure your children know that--win or lose--you love them and are not disappointed with their performance.
  2. Be realistic about your child's physical ability.
  3. Help your child set realistic goals.
  4. Emphasize improved performance, not winning. Positively reinforce improved skills.
  5. Don't relive your own athletic past through your child.
  6. Provide a safe environment for training and competition. This includes proper training methods and use of equipment.
  7. Control your own emotions at games and events. Don't yell at other players, coaches, or officials.
  8. Be a cheerleader for your child and the other children on the team.
  9. Respect your child's coaches. Communicate openly with them. If you disagree with their approach, discuss it with them.
  10. Be a positive role model. Enjoy sports yourself. Set your own goals. Live a healthy lifestyle.

©The Physician and Sportsmedicine 1988. Permission to reprint is granted for nonprofit educational purposes. (Guidelines for parents of children in sports. Phys Sportsmed 1988;16(4):71)


For more information on exercise, prevention efforts, and management of common childhood injuries and illnesses, please refer to the following articles that are available on The Physician and Sportsmedicine Online.

Exercise and Children's Health Theodore Ganley, MD, with Carl Sherman

Primary Violence Prevention and the Psychosocial Assessment: Using a Brief Encounter to Change a Life
Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MS Ed

Can School PE Make Fitter Kids?
Lisa Schnirring

Overuse Injuries in Children and Adolescents
John P. DiFiori, MD

Exercise-Induced Asthma
Vincent J. Lacroix, MD

The Female Athlete Triad: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Angela D. Smith, MD

Elbow Injuries in Young Baseball Players
James A. Whiteside, MD; James R. Andrews, MD; Glenn S. Fleisig, PhD

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Practical Treatment for a Self-Limiting Condition
Eric J. Wall, MD

Osteochondritis Dissecans of the Knee
Brian M. Ralston, MD; James S. Williams, MD; Bernard R. Bach, Jr, MD; Charles A. Bush-Joseph, MD; William D. Knopp, MD


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