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The following is a excerpt from an article by Dr. Robert J. Smith, PH.D. entitled "What Sports Teach Children About Life."  Dr. Smith is a licensed psychologist and resides in Wellesley.  We feel these tips encompass the philosophy of Wellesley Youth Basketball.


Tips for Parents & Coaches

Getting the Most Out of Sports for Kids


  • Be good role models - don't swear, or in other ways show poor sportsmanship; let your behavior serve as an example.
  • Redefine winning & losing - place a priority of effort and reaching maximum potential as individuals and as a team; players have less control over the final outcome of a game or match.
  • See opponents as comrades, not enemies - emphasize competing against yourself; opponents are just there to help you do this.
  • Encourage cooperation - push teamwork, discourage selfishness, set up situations where different sexes/races of children depend on each other for success.
  • Keep sports in perspective - nurture a well-rounded identity for kids; support their sport & non-sport interests equally, as this fosters an identity as a total person, not just an athlete.
  • Be positive whenever possible - critical comments can hurt more than help: give a compliment first, then add what they can do to improve, followed by why doing this will help them.
  • All kids were not created equally - differences among kids require different ways of treating them; appreciate their individual strengths, and help them develop at their own pace.
  • Don't confuse hearing with listening - listen to athletes' needs & concerns; their worries may seem trivial at times, but let them know you understand and support them.
  • Make sports fun - show kids how to laugh off mistakes; don't emphasize winning: let them appreciate the process of playing sports, not just the outcome; coaches need to be creative and find ways to make practices/games fun for players.