They learn about winning and losing, about setting goals, and about working together to accomplish a goal. And sports can help build self-esteem.

If your child wants to play on a team, you as a parent will need to learn some things, too. One of the keys to a child's success in sports is the parent's attitude.

It is your responsibility to help athletics fit into your child's life. You teach the values about winning and losing.

Attend as many games as possible. You'll meet other parentsand show interest in your child's activities.

Introduce yourself to the child's coach at the beginning of the season.

Let the coach be the coach. Don't shout suggestions to your child from the sidelines. You can shout encouraging things, but direct them to the entire team, not your child.

After the game, find something to praise about your child's performance. Especially if your child has not played well, look for something encouraging to say. You can say, "You tried your hardest, even when you were losing."

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