Parents play an important role in the way they encourage their kids to participate in games.

We tell our kids that we will always be their biggest fans, as we cheer them on from the sidelines.

Moms and Dads are not only their child’s greatest fans but their first life coaches and educators.

Parents are the first to teach kids the fundamentals of sports such as trust, teamwork, and sportsmanship. These fundamentals are not produced by merely speaking to them about it but by leading through example.

Teamwork and sportsmanship are not reserved for the athletes on the field.

Parents on the sidelines should demonstrate respect and sportsmanship while cheering on their favorite team. By being a courteous spectator, you’re being a great fan and better example to the rest of the team.

Gameday is an exciting event for parents, but it is important to remember this is their kids’ time to shine. Here are some tips for the whole family to support their team respectfully:

Cheer On Without Being Disruptive

Gameday is exciting, and every parent wants to be the loudest voice in the stands. Trying to compete to be heard can be distracting to those around you and may also be calling negative attention to your athlete as well.

Kids like to know they have support in the stands and are thrilled to hear their name and feel they have personal cheerleaders.

Celebrating a goal or a good pass is encouraging and a positive way of supporting your child. Don’t forget other parents are there with you too!

Encourage the Whole Team. Don’t Make it About Yourself or Your Kid.

Calling too much attention to your athlete may overwhelm or embarrass them. Even if you feel it is encouraging, they may take it otherwise.

Remember that your child participates on a team, and feels good when the whole team is doing well.  Being a voice of support for every kid on the team is a great way to be a positive fan.

The game is about everyone having fun and not about your kid winning or losing!

Let Coaches Do Their Job

Parents may be their child’s first coach, but they will not be the only ones.

Sports Coaches ensure safe, responsible and fair gameplay for each of their athletes. They too act as an educator in each student’s lives.

Show Support, Don’t Coach

Parents may think they know best for their kid, but coaches know the game inside and out.

Their role as a sports educator is to teach proper technique, sportsmanship, safety, and being a team player.

Letting coaches do their job is an important display of trust in part of the parent’s. They too know what is best for their students and team.

Shouting instructions from the sidelines is disrespectful to your child and their coach.

Coaches think hard about strategy and gameplay beforehand and need as much support from the stands as the team gets. Stand by the coach and their calls. Do not try and fight them or accuse them of bad decisions.

Remain a cheering voice in the stands as a team fan and not a "backseat driver," on the field sidelines.

Be a Positive Voice in the Stands

Remember game day is not all about winning. Everyone should be having fun and encouraging a display of sportsmanship. Even if your athlete gets upset and loses sight of this, you should keep your spirits up.

Stay positive, steering clear of trash talk and being an encouraging voice.

Celebrate Both Teams, Don’t Put Anyone Down

Adults sometimes may not realize the power of their voice.

Like any fan, parents can get carried away with the emotions of excitement and competition. It is essential to keep in mind that kids play to have fun and practice sportsmanship.

Being the first voice to congratulate the opposing team or cheer a call made by the coach will encourage kids to do the same.

Tell Them You Enjoy the Game, Don’t Debrief Them in the Car.

Remain a positive voice, even when a tough game is lost. Your child may already feel insecure about the outcome and in need of a guiding voice.

Talk about the good found throughout the game. Affirm that your child played well. Instead of being a game critic, be supportive as they process the failure.

Let them talk out how they believe their game went, rather than your own thoughts about the game action.

It may be tempting to play the role of the spectator, but be aware of what they need most, your support.

There are many ways to be a good sport without being on the field. Being a great spectator means being a respectful fan.

You don’t need to be the loudest voice in the stands to let your athlete know you are their biggest supporter.