All parents have seen that parent or pair of parents that is so over the top about their child’s or teen’s athletics that it makes everyone around uncomfortable. This usually includes some kind of public conflict whether it is a reaming out of the coach for pulling the player or the player is being reprimanded by their parents for performing poorly. Finding the balance between being supportive and avoiding the overbearing parent trap that can occur if you are not careful is imperative. The last thing that any parent wants is their child to lose their passion for a sport due the parent’s behavior in regards to their athletic performance. The following are tips to help find that balance between pushing your kid to be the best athlete possible while staying supportive and avoiding being overbearing.
Allow The Coach To Do Their Job Or Find Another Team
What many parents will tell you is that you should let the coach do their job. In youth sports most coaches are volunteers that want to give back so keep this in mind. For the most part they are not professional coaches so if they advise your child to use a poor or dangerous technique it is time to speak up. Not all coaches are created equal but it is imperative to respect them even if they are clueless. Finding another team is an option as there are so many leagues and teams popping up in nearly every area for every sport. The right coach can help foster a passion in your child while the wrong coach can be worse than an overzealous parent. Individual sports like that of swimming or gymnastics are sports where a great coach can make all of the difference. These sports rely heavily on technique as well as hard work but a great coach understands how to keep your child from burning out despite the immense focus these sports take.
Do Not Put Other Players Down
The one thing that will not only alienate your child but also embarrass them is if you put other players down. Avoid this as other parents can be aggressive and the last thing you want is a conflict in the stands which will mortify your child. Of course when in private you can give your child your opinion if they ask for it on another player’s performance or talent level. Telling your athlete that they are far more naturally gifted than another player is not wrong in anyway. Letting them know if they outwork a certain teammate they will be better than them is at times all they need to hear. Support your child whether they simply want to make the team or become the star player.
Take Them To Practices Or Weights Regardless of Time Of Day
The life of a parent with a dedicated athlete at any age is going to take copious amounts of time. Taking your athlete to practice at all times of the day or night should be done as this is a way they will improve. There are far worse things a teenager can do then hit the gym to get up a couple hundred shots or work on their ball handling. If a teen asks you to go to the gym with them to workout do it as a time to support them as well as get yourself into shape. This can be a great time to learn about your teen in casual conversation that comes up during the workout. A dedicated parent is nearly always behind an elite athlete as they need an incredible support system to thrive! It might take extra money to invest in soccer shoes or other equipment but sports can teach life lessons that very few other activities can.
Get Into Their Sport With Them As It Allows You To Bond
Starting to enjoy watching your teen play a sport can allow you to get into the games. Do not embarrass them by getting too loud but it can definitely be something you discuss which can be difficult to find these subjects with some teenagers. Having an elite athlete can be a great source of pride but it also puts you under the microscope as a parent. If your teen has suffering performances people think that something it happening at home rather than exams are stressing them out. A parent that is seen as aloof might be said to not be pushing or fostering their teen’s talent. The one thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter what others think but rather what the reality of your relationship is with your teen in respect to their sport.
Being a supportive parent without going too far is a balance that each parent has to find. Not every athlete want to be elite so keep this in mind and allow your child to enjoy playing sports at any level.