Editorial: Please check the negativity at the door

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We’ve all seen them.

You know — those parents who forget their child is a high school athlete and instead are yelling at the referees or players on the other team like they just robbed their child of the winning play in the Super Bowl.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are parents or community members who talk down about area teams without giving them any credit or recognition for improved skills or effort put into a game.

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With football and other sports starting up with school back in session, we ask parents and community members alike to check their negativity at the door and instead promote good sportsmanship.

While some area teams struggle for wins, it’s important to remember these aren’t professional athletes who are supposed to be successful as a job requirement. These are students trying to learn, led by coaches with varying levels of experience — some of whom step up to coach when no one else is doing so simply so there can be a team.

The Minnesota State High School League offers the following tips for creating a healthy sports environment:

• Parents should be supportive and positive of a coach’s decisions, and if they have a problem with what the coach is doing, it is best to talk directly with the coach after the game or at another time.

• Teach your child respect for authority. Though there will be times you disagree with a coach or official, remember they are trying their best to be fair.

• Let the coach do the coaching, but remember parents or other mentors can do some of the teaching. Sports are the perfect opportunity to teach life skills of success and failure.

We encourage parents and community members to practice these tips throughout the fall sports season. The guidelines can apply to any sport.

The Albert Lea High School football team has its first away game on Friday, with its first home game slated for Sept. 7.

Let’s get out and cheer on our team. Remember, a little positivity goes a long way.