Dear SKS Families,

As a follow up to our recent Home and School Speaker Series, here are quick notes and tips on how to be a better parent to your child regarding their participation in sports and activities. For more help and guidance go to the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) website.

Mr. T.’s Notes on PCA Seminar by Jim Osborne

  • Avoid yelling instructions to your child on how to play during competitions. Children are often inundated with “competing noise” with coaches, teammates and fans giving instructions all at the same time.
  • According to latest statistics, only 3% of high school athletes will receive an Athletic Scholarship. A student has a far better chance of receiving an academic scholarship.
  • The importance of positive, targeted, cheering cannot be understated including applauding a good play from the opposing team. Negative cheering should not be a part of any contest. At the heart of every competition should be good sportsmanship, win or lose. by players, coaches and fans.
  • When playing in athletic contests, your team should strive to win in the right way and teach life lessons such as teamwork, effort, and resilience.
  • Parents/Coaches should teach:
    -To honor the game: ROOTS acronym: Respect for: Rules, Opposition, Officials, Teammates, Self
    -Playing a sport is about ELM (tree of mastery):  E = Effort, L = Learning, M = Mistakes are okay – it’s how you get better
  • Know that playing a sport year round, especially at a young ages, can be dangerous to your child for three reasons:

– Risk of injury from using same muscles groups
– Good chance of burnout
– 70% of all teenagers stop playing a sport at age of 13. Why? Not fun anymore

  • Praise a child’s effort, not their ability. “I see you practiced really hard this week and look how much you improved. Keep working hard.”
  • Read the research on a Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset from Carol Dweck. The research tells us that success in school, sports/activities, and life is attributed to a positive growth mindset. Read Dweck’s top selling book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.


Fixed Mindset: I am not good at _________; and never will be.

As opposed to:

Growth Mindset: I need to get better at _________, and I can get better by practicing at it more.

  • Parent/Child Relationships:
  • Ask open ended questions to invite conversations that elicit more than one word answers.

For example:

Q:  “How was your day?” A – “Good”

Instead try:

Q: “Hey, tell about the science experiment you did in school today?

A: “Mom, Dad it was unreal…you should have seen what…..”

  • With school and sports make it a conversation among equals in the regard that you both want the same thing, which is to have fun and do your best.
  • Avoid Post Game Analysis (PGA) in the car after the game is over. It’s the last thing kids need or want to hear.
  • 24 hour rule: In most cases, wait 24 hours in situations where you have a grievance with a coaching situation. You may think differently a day later.
  • Resist the urge to constantly fix your child’s problems. Giving them ownership of their own issues and learning to advocate for themselves are real life skills and will serve them well later on in life.

I hope this helps you navigate through some of the challenges we face as parents.

The pictures above are from the Parent Child Golf Outing, the SKS Faculty at the Dragonboat Festival, and some scenes from daily life at school.

Take care,