Guide for Parents and Athletes
SPORTSMANSHIP BEGINS AT HOME
The value of participation in Huron High School athletics:
Participation in athletics at Huron High School is an integral part of the overall education process. It is our belief that the lessons learned on the playing field are in many ways lessons of life. Athletics at Huron teaches the following lessons:
- The value of setting common, achievable goals that will challenge the team.
- The value of teamwork and working together to achieve those common goals.
- The value of sportsmanship.
- The value of setting individual goals to support the team and then working hard to achieve them.
- The value of accepting responsibility.
- The value of having a desire to succeed.
- The value of developing healthy lifestyle habits.
- The value of respecting authorities, teammates, opponents, fans, the school, and community.
ALL ATHLETES WILL ABIDE BY THE MICHIGAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, THE SOUTHERN MICHIGAN CONFERENCE, AS WELL AS THE HURON ATHLETIC CODE OF CONDUCT.
Participation is a privilege, not a right:
Participation is a privilege for all students who choose to participate; it is not a right. We maintain strict standards in academics, behavior, and making healthy choices. We believe our athletic programs represent the school and community. It is because of this belief that we hold our student athletes to a high standard. We emphasize dedication and commitment to the team and program, a desire for success, and sacrificing personal goals for team goals.
Parental involvement in sporting events and athletics:
Parents should practice sportsmanship, as well as their student athletes. Parents need to remember the purpose of educational athletics: to train young people for life, but also to allow student athletes to have fun. Parents can be the biggest role models for students athletes when it comes to their understanding of sportsmanship; therefore, parents should exhibit the qualities of fairness, courtesy and grace in winning and defeat at home or away games and events.
Goals for parental sportsmanship include:
- Maintaining dignity under all circumstances.
- Respecting the rules of the game.
- Respecting the officials who administer the rules.
- Respecting opponents.
- Acknowledging opponent's efforts to do their best.
- Refraining from disrespectful or disruptive behavior.
Positive athletic parenting -- emphasize the following:
- Play the sport for the enjoyment of the experience.
- Do not make the focus scholarships for college.
- Be a positive motivator (four positives for each negative).
- Do not degrade the coach or his/her staff - use opportunities to reinformce the life lesson that everyone makes mistakes, including coaches.
- Encourage participation in several sports (three max for the schools).
- Specialization has led to student athletes' decreased enjoyment, burning out, and dropping out of the sport. When parents follow the trend of committing large amounts of finances and time for lessons, travel, etc., for a child's development in one sport, undue pressure may be placed on the child to be exceptional and/or earn a scholarship.
- Be realistic about your child's ability.
- Remember, the coach sees all the athletes at practice every day, in competitive drills, etc. He/she knows the abilities at this stage of developement, not how good someone was in the past.
- Emphasize commitment to the program.
Parenting and coaching are different vocations; therefore we need to establish an understanding of each so we can provide a greater benefit to your student athlete.
Communication you should expect from the coach
- Coaching philosophy.
- Expectations for the team and individual members.
- Special team requirements, such as: fees, equipment, and out of season workouts.
- Discipline of student athlete.
- Procedure to follow in case of emergency.
Communication from parent to coach
- Modeling good sportsmanship.
- Respect officials and opponents.
- Direct your concerns to the coach (follow 24 hour rule).
- Notify the coach, in advance, with scheduling conflicts.
Addressing a concern and the chain of command:
- Appropriate issues to discuss with coaches:
- Ways to help your child improve.
- Behavior issues.
- Academic progress.
It may be very difficult to accept your child not playing as much as you had hoped. Our coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe is best for all participants. As you can see from the list above, there are certain things that can and should be discussed with your child's coach. Other things, such as in the following list, must be left to the discretion of the coach.
- Issues NOT appropriate to discuss with coaches:
- Playing time.
- Team strategy.
- Other student athletes.
- The procedure you should follow when addressing a concern with a coach:
- Call to set up an appointment (You may leave a message on the coach's voice mail or email).
- It is expected that your student athlete will be a part of the meeting. Since the focus of the meeting will be centered on your student athlete, we believe that the athlete needs to be present at the meeting. Getting all parties involved in the discussion will assist in coming up with a plan to address the issue.
- If the meeting with the coach did not provide satisfactory resolution, you may call the Athletic Director to set up a meeting. At this meeting it is also expected that your child be present. This meeting will determine the next step.
The 24-Hour Rule
You should never contact a coach immediately following a contest. Please wait 24 hours to give yourself the opportunity to gather your thoughts so you do not provoke an adverse reaction. In the best interest of your student athlete's sports development, it is important to separate game emotions.