The Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program (Supportive Parents on the Right Track) helps youth sports parents maximize the benefits of their children's participation in organized athletics and addresses the issues which often lead to conflict among committed adults: The Role of Winning in Youth Sports, Effective Communication, Setting a Good Example, and Supportive vs. Pushy Parenting.
On August 25, 2002, the New Jersey state legislature enacted a law, which empowers municipalities and youth sports organizations to establish guidelines for expected behavior at sporting events, and to require players, coaches, and parents to sign a "code of conduct" as a condition of participation. The law also permits league officials to ban any person who "engages in verbal or physical threats or abuse, or initiates a fight or scuffle" at a youth sports practice or competition.
While the threat of punitive measures "sends a strong message" to some individuals who might act inappropriately, the vast majority of spectators are conscientious and supportive. Many parents, however, are unfamiliar with the challenges and opportunities that can arise in youth sports. The important question, therefore, is "how can those who administer youth sport programs help parents become more informed about the nature and purpose of organized youth sports?"
The Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program addresses the following issues:
- The Role of Winning in Youth Sports
- Effective Communication
- Setting a Good Example
- Supportive vs. Pushy Parenting
Certified instructors of the Youth Sports Research Council facilitate the Rutgers S.P.O.R.T. Program. Individuals who attend the program also receive:
- Sports and Your Child - 64 page guidebook
Registration Fee: $10.00/person
Municipalities/youth sports organizations can choose to have the YSRC provide an instructor to conduct the program, ($125 administrative fee) or they can elect to have their own staff/volunteers trained to teach the program by attending a S.P.O.R.T. Clinician's Workshop. Instructors are provided with all the tools necessary for conducting the program "on site", depending upon their local communities needs/interests.
For more information or to conduct the S.P.O.R.T. Program in your community, please call (848) 932-7178.