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Tell your child you love him or her regardless of the outcome.


Tell him or her, "Go for it; give it your best shot and have fun!"


Understand that kids are overstimulated during games. The coach is yelling instructions, opponents and teammates are talking, the crowd is cheering, and the referee is blowing the whistle. Do not yell instructions to your child during the game, since it only adds to the confusion. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a parent is to be quiet.


Cheer and acknowledge good plays by both teams.


Thank the officials for doing a difficult job.


Thank the coaches for their efforts.


Thank your opponents for a good game.


Congratulate your child and his or her teammates for their effort.


Compliment individuals on good plays.


Ask open-ended questions about how the game was played rather than how many points were scored.

Examples: “Did you have fun?” or “What did you learn?”

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