On the Sidelines: How to Encourage Teamwork

April 29, 2022

It can be difficult for parents, especially those who are new to youth sports, to know how to encourage teamwork and be a constructive voice from the sidelines during a game. Here are three simple things you can do from the sidelines to help build a positive team environment.

  1. Cheer on the Entire Team

We teach our kids all the time that we're there to support the entire squad. When your voice is aimed completely towards them throughout a game, though, it maintains the impression that they are the only ones you are watching and rooting for. To help your young player perceive themselves as valuable members of a broader team, show them that you value the entire team as well.

2. Recognize Teamwork

It's simple to applaud outstanding individual efforts or dramatic events like a spectacular goal or catch. What is more difficult, and less common, is to applaud loudly for outstanding teamwork. You should applaud amazing passes and demonstrations of talents that you know were developed via purposeful practice. This is also a good method to show support for athletes who play more supporting roles and are less likely to have those one-of-a-kind dramatic moments.

3. Congratulate Everyone on the Team

Make an attempt to interact with other players after the game is over. Again, this reinforces the concept that you are there to support the team, just as your young player is, rather than to watch one player. Distributing praise is also beneficial to the other players since it shows them that their efforts were acknowledged by people other than their own parents.

When it comes to teaching youngsters the concept of teamwork, it's crucial to emphasize it from a variety of perspectives, including from their coaches, parents and fellow players.

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