Track and Field Sports Parent Code of Conduct

You would think as adults, yes adults and parents we wouldn’t need a remedial lesson on how to conduct ourselves at Track and Field events…..

This is a reprint from 2008 when Lauren was a Bantam . Ever once in awhile a post needs  to reprinted just because.

 

Parent and Coach Misconduct, 10 Ways To Be A Great Track Parent

I was writing this post last night when this comment came in:

Hello Track Mom,
“I just wanted to report something that I experienced this past weekend at the meet that our track team hosted. After my daughter  ran the 400M race a parent commented “the girl with the ribbons (my daughter) is sweet.” One of the other mothers said, “she isn’t all that… we’ve got something for her at the State Championship.”

Another parent from my team overheard this and asked what she meant. The mother appeared shocked and embarrassed and asked if she was her mother. She went on to try to explain that she did not mean it as a threat or anything, and that my friend took it the wrong way.

Why and when did parents get nasty like this? I love my daughter beyond measure, and encourage her, cheer her on, and think that she is nothing less than the best but when she loses a race, we commend her as well as whoever beat her and tell them that they did great! I can’t even begin to describe the sick feeling that I have within me since this past weekend. It is hard to think about the hate that is in the world today that my daughter may have to face when she grows up, but at 8 going on 9 years old, are you serious!?!

I understand that the kids have other runners that they compare themselves with and strive to beat them, and their parents may even tell them, “hey, you can beat her.” But it shocks me that two grown parents were talking like this loudly near the finish line so that others could hear. I am in prayer about this and I ask that you and your viewers please pray for not only me and my daughter, but all of the parents and children participating in track and field, including those with these negative feelings towards innocent children just doing what they enjoy doing. As much as I love and enjoy watching track and field and cheering my daughter on, I almost feel like it will not be the same this weekend at the State Championships.”

So you see I am not the only one out there with material to write on . Every time I am at a meet I find more material from some parents in the stands…Here we go AGAIN

Track Parents Code of Conduct

At the Meet.
It’s really hard not to get excited and yell when you’re watching your child run , jump or throw. Just remember that you are a guest at your child’s athletic event. Unless you are adding something positive, keep your mouth shut.

Listen to your athlete.
Listen to your child. If she is telling you she isn’t having fun, listen. Do not force your child to participate. Figure out if this choice is a bad day or a changing of interest.

This isn’t about you.
Remember that children participate to have fun and that participation in track is for your youth athlete, not adults. If you want to yell to go Faster…Get your knees up! Go participate in a Master’s Meet and see just how hard it really is. I never yelled get your knees up after I ran in a meet and couldn’t : )  It was eye-opening to say the least.

Know the rules.
Learn the rules of the event and the policies of the meet. Be a positive role model for your child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all athletes, other parents, coaches, officials and spectators at every meet and practice.

Set a good example.
Never engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting; refusing to shake hands; or using profane language or gestures. Watch your language..PLEASE. Last week a parent was cursing worse that a sailor in front of my daughter and didn’t even realize he was doing it.

Demand good sportsmanship from your child.
Teach your child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence. Demand that your child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability. Teach your child that doing one’s best is more important than winning, so that your child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a race or his/her  over all performance.

Show respect.
Respect the officials and their authority during games and never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field. Take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place. Communicate and show respect to your fellow parents. I admit, I and several others were guilty of this in regard to a relay order. It wasn’t just me, but it might as well have been . I learned my lesson and I will keep my thoughts to myself : ) my opinion is just that, mine.Coaches have lots to figure out I only have Lauren.

Provide adequate refreshment for “Your Athlete”

I am  very sure that you fully realize that the meets start at about 8am and finished after 4 or so most times.Your child will need food and water over the 6-10 hours of participation. Plan ahead.Don’t expect your fellow parents to feed and hydrate your athlete just because others Always bring food. This by far is the most rude, irritating observation I see weekly and I get more track moms reporting this than any other. I love sharing and love when other share with me, BUT I hate being taken advantage of.  I have received reports of parents sending smaller children to them asking for food while the parents sit from afar and watch.

Men, Give a helping hand to the Track Moms

Yes it’s true.There are many men out there that will watch women put up canopies and carry ice chest into the stands and not ever offer to help.WHAT THE HECK???? Has the male population  of the world gone mad?

This is 100% true story.Last weekend in Escondido,CA at the Region 15 Championships Henry and I actually witnessed a father helping his  girl child lift an ice chest then he put it down  before the stairs and had her carry it up the stairs into the stands yep..It was crazy. Men, just be men and help when you see women and children needing help.

Help out the announcer

When the announcer asks you to move your illegally parked car MOVE IT… Please ,when he or she asks you to move your body off the rails,  just move.  We could all see if we would all go to the seats in the stands.

Clean up your mess

For those of you and there are MANY ,this is not your house  or some other dirty, filthy place. Clean your area before you leave the stadium. No one(team) wants to share their expensive stadium( house) with a bunch of nasty,thoughtless people? Didn’t any one ever tell these parents and athletes never leave your guests  stadium(home) with out cleaning up?  I and my team parents try to clean our entire area before it get out of control but sometimes it’s just ridiculous how lazy people are when they know  or see you doing their job.

One time during the season a team that left a little earlier than us left so much trash I had to get a broom to clean it just so no one would think it was my filthy trash.Okay,clean up after yourselves..Please.

 Until Next Time

Comments

  1. Brooke's Mom says:

    Good reminders! Thanks.

  2. AAU Mommy says:

    I spreaded the word about your website this past weekend at a fun run. Our coach is very strict on sportsmanship for both our athletes and parents. I am going to encourage my child to congratulate runners who beat her in a meet–I think it will help her overall confidence, too.
    Your article was right on point and just in time for our Regional Meet–I love your website!!

  3. Angela Cash says:

    This weekend at the Quiet Fire Meet my 3 years as a track parent I had never been so disappointed in the behavior and unsportmanship like conduct by PARENTS. My husband (who is a coach), kids, and I are from another Southern California track team. I have given props to Lauren Rain Willaims on many occassions, and thought that the shout outs this week would be no different. HOWEVER.. after it was announced another well known track club parents starting BOOING!!! I couldnt believe my ears!! I was not only shocked but embarrased that these so called ADULTS had stooped to this level. Parents realize this…

    1. Lauren is a CHILD…
    2. I was always taught if you have nothing positive to say… say nothing…
    3. How would you feel if someone did that to YOUR child?

    I strongly believe that it takes a village to raise a child. Instead of trying to dismiss or belittle her GOD given talent, we as a community need to make sure she has any and everything she needs to reach her olympic dreams.

    Kaylee And I will continue to support, encourage, and cheer her on until your dreams have been met!

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