Parents can help clean up sports while guiding kids

Positive articles about the subject of appearance and performance enhancing drugs are few and far between.  I wanted to share this one that appeared in the Chicago paper today.

Don

By Jack Perconte, McClatchy/Tribune News

There is no area of positive parenting in sports that is more important than teaching kids that cheating to reach their goals is never an acceptable way to succeed. Over the last few years, it has been almost impossible to talk about sports without the issue of performance-enhancing drugs (steroids, etc.) coming up.

What’s more, the rewards for achievement are so great (college scholarships, possibly millions of dollars, the admiration of fans) that the temptation will always be too much for some players to pass up. Here are some things parents can do:

Maintain reasonable expectations:

 The “must succeed” attitude that young athletes often develop is begun when parents put such high expectations on kids that they feel they have to be great to please mom and dad. Letting kids know that you love and support them no matter how they perform on the field is essential parenting.

Teach the sports page:

 Studies have shown that young athletes follow what they see the top players doing, so it is up to parents, coaches and teachers to talk to kids about the stories that make headlines. This means discussing the positive sports stories in the news, too.

Look for positive coaches:

 Parents need to look for coaches with positive coaching philosophies. This has become more possible in recent years because of travel sports, in which young athletes can try out and move to different teams. Positive coaches look out for the entire well-being of kids, on and off the field, and are not “win at all cost” coaches. This latter type of coach will allow kids to do whatever it takes to win. This attitude can lead to the temptation to use unethical means to succeed.

Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune

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