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For Parents

Parents Matter

Being the parent or coach of a young athlete is an art, not a science.  Science is exact, and A plus B always equals C.  But sports coaching and parenting are different.  Your children are your blankcanvas, and years from now, they will be the culmination of the messages they have received, the opportunities they have had, and the values they have learned by being an athlete.   Like art, in coaching and parenting there are infinite textures, colors, and styles of that all lead to the final product, and no two kids are the same.  You will have to constantly learn, to adapt, to listen, and be ready to change on the fly as you navigate your child’s athletic career. Raising a young athlete can be brilliant, it can be exasperating, but ultimately it can be the most wonderful and rewarding experience of our life.

Information and Resources

10 Rules for Parents of Athletes

10 Rules for Parents of Athletes by Lloyd Percival 
Lloyd Percival, a fitness expert, developed 10 rules for parents of athletic children. Maybe your child will become a great player some day, and maybe they won’t, but they will be a better person if you follow these rules.

  1. Make sure that your child knows that, win or lose, you love them. Let them know that you appreciate their effort and they you won’t be disappointed in them if they fail. Be the person in their life that they can always look to for support.
  2. Try to be completely honest with yourself about your child’s athletic ability, competitive spirit, sportsmanship, and skill level.
  3. Be helpful, but don’t coach your child on the way to the game or at the breakfast table. Think how tough it must be on them to be continually inundated with advice, criticism, and pep talks.
  4. Teach your child to enjoy the thrill of competition, to be “out there trying,” to be constantly working to improve their skills, to take the physical and emotional bumps and come back for more. Don’t tell them that winning doesn’t count, because it does and they know it. Instead, help them develop a healthy competitive attitude, a “feel” for competing, for trying hard, for having a good time.
  5. Try not to live your life through your child. You’ve lost as well as won, you’ve been frightened, you’ve backed off at times, and you’ve been the villain. Don’t expect any better of them. Sure they are an extension of you, but don’t assume that they feel the same way as you did, want the same things, or has the same attitude. Don’t push them in the direction that will give you the most satisfaction.
  6. Don’t compete with your child’s coach. A coach may become a hero to them for a while – someone who can do no wrong – and you may find this hard to take. Or, they may become disenchanted with the coach. Don’t side with them against the coach. Talk to them about the importance of learning how to handle problems and how to react to criticism. Try to help them understand the necessity for discipline, rules, and regulations.
  7. Don’t compare your child with the other players on their team or others – at least not within their earshot. If they have a tendency to resent the treatment they get from the coach, if she is jealous of the approval other players get, try to be honest with them. Don’t lie to them about their capabilities as a player. If you are overly protective, you will perpetuate the problem.
  8. Get to know your child’s coach.
  9. Remember that children tend to exaggerate when they are praised and when they are criticized. Temper your reactions for exaggerating, but don’t overreact to the stories they tell you.
  10. Teach your child the meaning of courage. Some of us can climb mountains, but are frightened to get into a fight. Some of us can fight without fear, but turn into jelly at the sight of a bee. Everyone is frightened of something. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. Courage is learning to perform in spite of fear.

Growing the Game Together

Latest News

BY CHRÖS MCDOUGALL | MARCH 30, 2020, 8:38 A.M. (ET)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic rings are displayed on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo.


Following a full one-year postponement, the Olympic Games Tokyo will take place July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, with the Paralympic Games to follow Aug. 24-Sept. 5, 2021.

The announcement of the new dates comes six days after the International Olympic Committee took the unprecedented step on March 24 of delaying the Tokyo Games in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. The International Paralympic Committee announced the Tokyo Paralympic Games would be pushed back as well.

The Olympic Games were originally set for July 24-Aug. 9, with the Paralympic Games running Aug. 25-Sept. 6. They will now take place exactly one year later, though starting one day earlier to line up with the calendar (Olympic Games begin on a Friday and the Paralympic Games on a Tuesday).

The decision was made by the IOC, IPC, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Tokyo metropolitan government and government of Japan, and supported by the International Summer Olympic Sport Federations and National Olympic Committees. The three main principles outlined behind the new dates are the maximum time possible to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, safeguarding the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and coinciding with the international sport calendar as best as possible.

Since the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the Summer Games have been held every four years except in 1916, 1940 and 1944, when the events were canceled due to war. The 1940 and 1944 Winter Games were also canceled.

Although the IOC has had to change host cities, it has never had to postpone the Games outside of their designated year.

Perhaps the closest parallel to the current situation in Olympic history was in 1994, when the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, were held just two years after the previous Winter Games in Albertville, France. However, that decision had been made nearly a decade earlier. The IOC voted in 1986 to split the Summer and Winter Games into different years, with Lillehammer being the first in the new system.

Download the Team USA app today to keep up with all your favorite sports, plus access to videos, Olympic and Paralympic team bios, and more.

IOC President Thomas Bach called the Olympic Games “the most complex event on this planet,” and the Tokyo 2020 postponement creates a multitude of new challenges. Organizers and Japanese officials now face the gargantuan task of resetting logistics relating to venues and so much more.

Much must also be decided on the sporting side. Seventy-six athletes had already qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team, and hundreds more were well into the process. Fourteen of those athletes had earned their spots directly through their international qualification system, as opposed to a domestic selection process. The IOC confirmed Tuesday that “all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged,” which protects at least those 14 athletes and the several hundred quota spots the U.S. had already earned across all sports. The IPC also confirmed that Paralympic athletes already qualified will remain qualified, which includes table tennis player Tahl Leibovitz, and taekwondo athletes Evan Medell and Brianna Salinaro.

Several U.S. Olympic Team Trials and other international qualifying events will now need to be rescheduled. Meanwhile, competitions already scheduled in each sport might need to be postponed or canceled to accommodate the new adjusted Games schedule. Among them is the 2021 track and field world championships, a major event in its own right, which was scheduled for Aug. 6-15 in Eugene, Oregon.

The IOC has continued to state these will remain the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and thus continue to have the moniker Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, despite the new host year.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

USAV Statement on 2020 Tokyo Games Postponement

By Jaime Davis, CEO of USA Volleyball 03/24/2020, 12:45pm CDT

USAV Statement on 2020 Tokyo Games Postponement





MARCH 24, 2020, 12:23 P.M. (ET)

USA Volleyball statement on the postponement of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games

While today’s news that the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed until next year is an extremely sad moment, USA Volleyball absolutely concurs that it is the correct decision in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that is accelerating in many regions of the world and is very much unpredictable at this stage. The health and safety for the athletes, team delegations, Games administrators and worldwide fans take precedent over sport in times like these.

For our Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, I understand the days and weeks leading up to this decision have created uncertainty and anxiety in your lives. Rest assured, USA Volleyball will continue to do our utmost to manage through these extraordinary times and support you how we can. We look forward to being able to resume normal training and competition in preparation for the Tokyo Games soon. We are a team and we are all in this together.

I hold high confidence that the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the Japanese government will work cohesively together to reset the Games next year in a fair manner for all involved and I appreciate them listening to the athletes’ voice in their decision making process. I envision the world’s top athletes coming together in Tokyo next year sharing the message that as a world we can unite as one team even though wearing the country flags of many.

Stay safe, stay healthy and Go USA!

Jamie Davis
CEO, USA Volleyball

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