Junior Sports Guide for Parents

The City of Mandurah Recreation Centres endorses that all junior sport programs should be based on the principle of equality of participation.  All players should be given equal playing time and should be provided the opportunity to play different positions.

Whilst playing games at the Recreation Centres the match scores are kept, it’s the responsibility of coaches, officials, parents and support staff to ensure the focus is on promoting enjoyment and development of fundamental motor skills and not on who wins and loses.


Sport participation during childhood offers many immediate and long-term benefits including:

  • The formation of positive physical activity behaviours
  • Development of life-skills
  • Physical literacy
  • Cognitive and social function


In addition to the well-known health benefits, the physiological and social development gained through participation in sport can impart valuable life skills such as confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, decision making and resilience.  All of these skills can contribute to maintaining healthy physical activity levels into adulthood. 
Recognition that motivation for participation is based upon enjoyment, which may include many things such as having fun, acquiring skills and experiencing positive self-concept and interaction with others. 
At this age the emphasis should be on play and all activities should be focused on recreational participation (creative play).

Parent's Roles and Responsibilities 

Before the Game

You don’t need to tell your child that winning doesn’t matter because they know it has some meaning.  Instead, help them to develop a healthy competitive attitude for trying hard and having fun

Tell your child to “go for it, give it your best shot and have fun”

During the Game 

  • Don’t yell instructions at your child during the game.  The coach has given them instructions and their teammates are also calling out to them; too much input is confusing 
  • Cheer and acknowledge good play by both teams 
  • Never criticise a mistake, only make motivational comments
  • Respect the decisions made by the officials. Your child will learn to respect authority by seeing you do the same 
  • Accept the decision of where your child may play during that game.  All participants will play in all positions during the season

After the Game 

  • Thanks the officials and the coach
  • Congratulate your child and their teammates on their efforts 
  • Compliment individual players on good plays they made during the game
  • Focus on the way your child played rather than winning or losing 
  • If your child is upset with losing, help them not to focus on the outcome

During the Car Ride Home 

  • Point out a good play your child made during the game 
  • Avoid criticising or correcting mistakes 
  • Ask questions like:
    What was fun about netball/soccer today?
    What was something you did well today?
    What did you learn from the game?

We Play Fair for Fun and Fitness

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