Magazine article Parks & Recreation

New NFL-Funded Program to Educate Parents about Sportsmanship

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

New NFL-Funded Program to Educate Parents about Sportsmanship

Article excerpt

An alarming American trend is often depicted on the evening news: Parents of young athletes being verbally abusive or even violent during their children's sporting events. With funding from the National Football League and support from the National Recreation and Parks Association, North Carolina State University is helping to develop an educational program aiming to prevent such inappropriate behavior and ensure children have positive sports experiences.

Dr. Michael Kanters, director of the new Youth Sports Parent Education Program, explains that the vast majority of millions of children participating in sports activities drop out by the time they're 13 years old. Research indicates that behavior by parents has a direct and significant effect on both children's self-esteem and their decision to stay in sports.

"Clearly the actions of many parents indicates a growing problem," said Kanters, an NC State assistant professor of parks, tourism, and recreation management. "A parent education program has the potential to both minimize the negative impact of inappropriate parent involvement, and teach parents how to help their children get the most out of their sport experiences."

The program will develop, test and implement a curriculum that can be used across the nation to educate parents of children ages 6-12 about how to effectively facilitate their children's sports experiences. …

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