With the winter sports season recently coming to a close and a new season upon us, I thought it would be a good time to discuss what parents/adults can do to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding experience for everyone associated with extracurricular activities.
1. Encourage your child to become involved in activities outside of the classroom.
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. Become involved with your child’s activities.
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 your child’s coach if you are interested in becoming involved.
3. Display good sportsmanship and insist that your child does 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 fair atmosphere for competition. Judgment calls will not always favor your team, but this does not give anyone the right to berate an official. All of us, parents, spectators, coaches and players have a responsibility to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
4. Support your child’s coach.
Coaches are people who care greatly about their players. They balance the needs of individual athletes with the requirements of a successful team. Because your child isn’t starting or playing as much as his/her teammates doesn’t mean 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 and help your child do the same.
High school sports are intended to enrich a child’s education, and by joining a team, student-athletes learn responsibility, respect, diligence, and teamwork. Only a select few will ever go on to compete at the collegiate level. 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 and coaches are doing their best, so be positive and please remember why your child got involved with athletics in the first place … because it was fun!
I feel fortunate to part of a district and community that is very supportive of extracurricular opportunities for students. By everyone working together, we can continue to build Pequot Lakes’ tradition of success and ensure that our students have enjoyable and memorable experiences.
See you at the games!
-- Marc Helmrichs, Activities Director