Athletic programs are a form of “youth ministry”, probably one of the largest and most pervasive forms of youth ministry that our Church offers. Coaches and fans should view themselves as youth ministers and representatives of our Church because that is exactly what they are. Whatever behavior is exhibited in the course of athletic programs (practice and games), it either helps the faith/moral character of our children… or it hurts the faith/moral character.
Coaches and adults bear a particular responsibility for what gets communicated to the boys and girls who are participants (and at times fans themselves) particularly at such young and impressionable ages.
Parents have a right to expect that the coaches for Blessed Sacrament take their faith and religious practices seriously, particularly attending Sunday Mass each week. Coaches have the right to expect that parents and all Blessed Sacrament fans are doing the same and teaching the same to their children.
The idea is to use athletics to teach children about life: about being gracious in victory and defeat, about learning from mistakes, about picking yourself up and starting over, about how sometimes in life you have to “get back to the fundamentals” and about developing a mental toughness that will serve you in all areas of your life and help you to raise above the smallness in other people… and yourself… in other words, to have a heart like Jesus Christ.
SPORT PARENT CODE OF CONDUCT
The essential elements of character building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character.”
I therefore agree:
- I will not force my child to participate in sports.
- I will remember that children participate to have fun, and that the game is for youth, not adults.
- I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.
- I will learn the rules and policies of the league.
- I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and demonstrating positive support for all players.
- I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official/referee, coach, player, parent, or league official such as taunting or using profane language and gestures, booing and taunting, or refusing to shake hands.
- I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and well being of the athletes.
- I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials, and spectators with respect, regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
- I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participant for making a mistake or losing a competition.
- I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed time and place. ( It is required that I wait a “24 hr Cooling Off” period to speak with coaches about a concern)
- I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team. Specifically: I will respect my child’s coach and support his/her efforts. I will insure that my child will attend all practices and games possible and, when not possible, I agree to inform the coach in advance. I will respect the facilities made available so my child can practice and play his/her respective sport. I will respect and take care of equipment provided for my child’s use.
I also agree that if I fail to abide by the aforementioned rules and guidelines, I will be subject to disciplinary action that could include, but is not limited to:
- Verbal warning by coach, official, or Blessed Sacrament Boosters official (Sport Dir., Athl. Dir., Board Mbr.)
- Parental game suspension with written documentation to be kept by the Boosters Board of Directors.
- Parental banishment from all Boosters sponsored sports programs for a period of one year from date of incident.
- Any behavior by me or my guests resulting in an ejection from, forfeiture of, or stoppage of play during a practice or game will be reviewed by a committee formed by the Boosters Board of Directors. This may result in a mandatory one game suspension (in addition to any suspensions imposed by the respective leagues). 2 offenses will result in a one-year suspension as noted in bullet point # 3 above.