23 You are the most important people in your children’s lives, and they want you to be proud of them. Attend games and matches, and cheer loudly! Playing a sport in high school requires time, energy, and commitment. The following tips will help ensure that your high school athlete has a great season. Be aware of athletic eligibility requirements Most high schools have eligibility requirements for athletes. For example, athletes may be required to maintain a minimum GPA in a certain num- ber of classes. If you have questions about eligibility, talk to a counselor, principal, coach, or athletic director. Discuss the dangers of steroids In recent years, a number of athletes have chosen to use steroids to build muscle and gain strength. Steroids are illegal, and they can cause liver damage, heart damage, and sterility. If your child wants to put on weight and/or muscle, talk to the trainer about diet and exercise options. Learn about college eligibility requirements Colleges belong to associations that have academic requirements that all college athletes must meet. Students who are thinking of playing a sport in college should talk to their counselor to make sure they are taking the right courses. They should also register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at the beginning of their junior year. For information on NCAA eligibility requirements and registration, go to www.eligibilitycenter.org. Support your athlete The best way to help your athlete is to be positive and to provide encour- agement, both at home and in the stands. If your child has a problem any time during the season, encourage your child to talk to the coach. If the problem is not resolved, or if it’s of a serious nature, make an appointment to talk to the coach yourself. Information for the Parents of Athletes