Sports FANS!
Simple steps to becoming a great sports fan

Fall is here and that means football season is upon us! Whether you are a high school, collegiate, or NFL fan, families spend most weekends cheering their favorite teams on to victory. Being a football fan – or any type of sports fan – is exhilarating. As a fan, you try hard to encourage ‘your’ team.  Supporting your team by wearing the jersey or sporting the team colors is great, but most often, time spent on the sidelines – or the couch – is filled with negative jabs or insults to players, coaches, and referees.  While huddled around the TV or out in the stadium, parents have many opportunities to influence their children and teach them how to be socially and emotionally smart fans!  Remember, as you cheer from the sidelines, a new generation of fans is learning from you.


Instead of tearing the player down by yelling, “You suck!” when someone messes up, you can teach your children how to feel for the players by saying things like:
  • He must be embarrassed he fumbled, hopefully he can stay focused.
  • She must have been feeling the pressure when she missed that goal.
  • It’s been a long game, they must be getting tired.
It’s easy to high five and cheer when the team scores or makes a good play, but there is a lot of hard work that goes into practices that should be applauded by the fans such as:
  • She must really put in hard work training, look at her serve.
  • He must study the playbook, he was in the right place at the right time.
  • Look at that throw, he must practice a lot.
Playing sports is difficult and no one tries to perform poorly.  Missing plays or dropping passes aren’t done on purpose, so giving players a hard time isn’t very supportive.  As a fan, show support by noticing the effort on the field –not the mistakes – by pointing out things like:
  • That was so close, he jumped so high to try to make that catch.
  • She was really hustling trying to catch the other team.
  • That guy just missed him, he was close though!
It’s easy to yell phrases at the TV such as:  “Horrible call!”, “You’re terrible!”, and “Get off the field!”  As the cheerleaders for ‘your team’ these words and phrases aren’t very encouraging.  Try shouting encouraging phrases such as:
  • Tough call, but keep your head in the game!
  • You can redeem yourself!
  • The game’s almost over – you can make it!

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