The cheers from the crowd, the smell of the field, the energy of those around you (wait…did that parent really just say that?!). Yes, those are just some of the many fun aspects of sport participation! Why do kids begin sport participation? Well, primarily because it is FUN and perhaps it offers opportunities for energy-dispersion for those kids with tons of unbounded enthusiasm and for building skills in socialization. And now that we think about it, we did not see WINNING in that sentence although this can be a fun aspect of sport (though not usually the primary reason kids get involved). As a sport parent, it is very important to keep in mind that your child is participating in sport because he/she wants to (hopefully) and they are enjoying themselves. They may also recognize that it pleases you (the parent) and may not want to disappoint you. Thus, in the beginning of sport participation, it is really important to keep the focus on just HAVING FUN. I know this may sound obvious and this statement has now been repeated this several times, however, look no further than the special conduct code signs that now need to be put up in little league games reminding parents to mind their manners and keep their ‘sportsparentship’ intact. These conduct codes are not only found in baseball, but other organized sports as well, such as youth hockey, soccer, and football. Have these sport parenting ‘rules’ helped ‘rule in’ the parents? I think we are still waiting to find out! If we evaluate ourselves and reflect our own sport experiences, sometimes we may want our children to have everything (or tons MORE!) than we had as a child. This might include sport opportunities and the level of immersion into sport participation (e.g., special one-on-one practices, extra paid time with coach, etc.). This is not bad ‘stuff’, but we need to keep in mind that our actions should somewhat be dictated by that of our child. That is, if our child is extremely excited about sport participation, let’s keep it fun for them by not getting way too excited if they win or lose, rather, focus on concrete, positive behaviors your child is engaging in. For example, “you really gave a great effort today!”, “I love how you kept that focus and really stayed positive”, “you really ran/jumped/kicked hard and I am so glad you are happy!”. THESE are the skills, behaviors, and mindset that will lead to success for our children, not if they win or lose any particular game, meet, or match! In addition, we are responsible for the boundaries we set up for our kids which means trying to have a balanced perspective and engaging our kids in different activities, not just one sport that would guarantee a spot on the 2020 Olympic Team. Parents: we LOVE our kids and will do anything for them and now let’s extend this to the way we parent on and off the field!