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Personal Best Karate

Five Ways To Be A Perfect Sideline Parent

Posted: May 17, 2019

By Master Christopher Rappold

When your child shows up for that first martial arts class, you become a “sports parent”. Most of us relish our time as parents and strive to make the most of this wonderful adventure. However, there are those who give sports and parents a bad name. So what can you do to avoid becoming sidelined monster? Follow some basic common sense rules.

1. Start the day right. Yes, have a good healthy breakfast and carry healthy snacks and drinks, but more importantly, start the day in the proper frame of mind. Keep it light and positive on the drive to the event. When you arrive, you may quickly go over anything that needs to be gone over, but remembers the words, “I love you.” And remember, on the return trip, give your child time to absorb the win or defeat. Don’t criticize everything.

2. Only give positive remarks. Your child is concentrating on everything taught to compete. Please don’t break your child’s concentration with piercing remarks about form or technique. Cheer with positive comments, not just for your child, but the others from your school as well. Under no circumstances should you boo, hiss, laugh or swear at the opponents.

3. The judges are not paid to listen to your insulting jeers. They are usually not paid at all, so keep your comments to yourself. You can’t see everything they do, and you may not know the exact call for a point. Most judges are fair and try not to show bias, however, there may be some who favor a group or school. It happens in every area of life, so use this as a valuable learning tool and explain that as long as they had fun and gave their best effort, they accomplished their goal.

4. Teach and display good sportsmanship. Be a respectful parent and teach your child what sportsmanship means. Praise your child when he or she follows the rules, avoids arguments, listens to the instructor, shows respect encourages teammates and congratulates the opponent-win or lose. Gracious athletes don’t pout, fuss, blame others or make excuses; they use their errors as learning tools to do better. But most of all, they have fun.

5. Are you the instructor? The same rules apply in your child’s classes or practice sessions. If you are not the instructor or coach, don’t give sideline advice. If you see a problem, call the school and speak with the instructor or coach away from other children and parents. They really do know what they are doing. Whether your child is a beginner or advanced level competitor allow your child to have fun, and know that you are supportive of their activity.

If you would like to have your child try our award-winning registration page based martial arts program that will reinforce the family value and teach mental and physical skills to ensure they are safe, please go to the Registration Page. I promise you that our team of highly-skilled martial arts teachers and mentors will make you and your family feel right at home.