Common sense: Often disregarded (plus a poll)

Common sense: Often disregarded (plus a poll)


Not texting while driving seems like common sense, right? After all, how can you keep an eye on the traffic around you if you’re texting your son to be ready for you to pick him up for practice? Yet, we hear each day about accidents, injuries and deaths caused by distracted drivers.

It also seems like a no-brainer to not act out at youth sports events.

Parents and coaches typically are told at the beginning of a season what is considered to be acceptable behavior. This is communicated through handbooks, code of conduct pledges and orientation meetings. When signing a behavior contract most parents probably think, "Yes, of course I'm not going to act like a crazy person and curse at the umpire!" But once the excitement of games begins, the story sometimes changes.

Parents and spectators need constant reminders, like ball field signs, to keep their behavior in check. Don't forget, many spectators like friends, neighbors and grandparents are not required to sign a behavior contract so those individuals do'’t specifically know which behaviors the league encourages (cheering for all players) or prohibits (catcalls to officials, coaches or players).

Buffalo Grove Park District in Illinois, for instance, has done a great job of posting signs on their fields to remind coaches, parents and spectators of the impact their behaviors have.

We are often asked if we sell signs that parks can hang in their gyms and ball field fences. Currently we do not, but we are big supporters of them and have considered selling them in our online store. When we began brainstorming different messages for signs we knew immediately we wanted to get some feedback from the front lines of youth sports: YOU!

youth sports behavior sign

We put together a couple of ideas but we want your input! Perhaps you have a suggestion for a message that you feel would resonate with fans? Maybe you've seen a real life example of an effective sign and it stuck with you? Share your ideas with us in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook. Who knows, we may create a sign with your message in the future!

By: Kate Dilworth, Director, Marketing, National Alliance for Youth Sports

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