When participants in high school activities are surveyed and asked the question, “Why do you play?” The overwhelming response is, “Because it’s Fun!” I believe it is important for all of us as adults to keep this in mind as we provide a supportive environment for our students to participate in the activities they choose.
With the winter season wrapping up and the spring season upon us, I thought it would be a good time to review what we as adults can do to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone associated with extra-curricular activities.
1. Encourage involvement.
The importance of high school activities in a young person’s development has been documented by numerous reputable sources. The Minnesota State High School League points out that student involvement in co-curricular activities elevates attendance and grades, decreases drug use, and lowers dropout rates. Other studies indicate that achievement in school activities is a leading indicator for a student’s success later in life (measured by self-satisfaction and community involvement).
2. Get involved.
Almost all sports allow parents to make positive contributions by helping with concession stands, fundraising, organization of trips, scholarship funds, etc. Opportunities are also available in officiating in most activities. Talk to the coach if you are interested in becoming involved.
3. Display good sportsmanship and insist that the participants do the same.
Cheer for your team in a positive way and applaud good plays on both sides of the field. Also, appreciate the work of the game officials while they attempt to create a perfectly fair atmosphere for competition. Judgment calls will not always favor your team, but this does not give anyone the right to berate an official. Parents, spectators, coaches and players are all responsible for practicing good sportsmanship.
4. Support the coaches.
Coaches are people who care greatly about their players. They balance the needs of individual kids with the requirements of a successful team. Because your child isn’t starting or playing as much as his/her teammates doesn’t mean that they are any less important to the coach or to the team. Coaches know that it takes everyone to contribute to a successful team. We are fortunate in Pequot Lakes to have dedicated coaches that have years of both playing and coaching experiences in their respective sports, and they deserve our gratitude and support.
5. Keep things in perspective.
High school sports are intended to enrich a child’s education, and by joining a team, students learn responsibility, respect, diligence, and teamwork. At game time, it’s easy for us to forget that the competitors are just kids who have worked extremely hard to prepare themselves. The players, coaches and officials are doing their best, so be positive and please remember that it’s a game and the kids are playing it “because it’s fun!”
See you at the games!
-- Marc Helmrichs, Activities Director