Parenting athletes, you’d probably agree there’s not much that rivals watching your child compete in a sport he or she loves to play. For as long as sporting events have existed, parents have cheered and criticized their kids – pushing, shouting, encouraging, and demanding from the stands.
Parental behavior from the sidelines and at home has a critical impact on a child’s performance – both good and bad – which is why this list exists. Below are several important dos and don’ts for parents of young athletes.
- Encourage your child to choose a sport he or she wants to play. Support the decision even if it isn’t something you’re interested in yourself.
- Teach your child to respect his or her teammates, coaches, and referees.
- Let your child learn from their mistakes.
- Acknowledge your child’s successes and be tolerant of the way he or she learns.
- Support your child whether he or she wins or loses.
- Allow the coach to do his or her job. Avoid interfering or interjecting your own opinion when the coach is making a point.
- Try to relive your own youth through your child. Be willing to accept that he or she won’t be interested in or won’t excel at the same sport you did.
- Blame others when your child or the team doesn’t play well.
- Push your child to play a sport he or she isn’t interested in.
- Put too much pressure on your child to play well in order to uphold your image.
- Compare one child’s ability to another’s.
- Make your child feel guilty for the time or money it takes for him or her to play their favorite sport.
Being the parent of a young athlete can be exciting. It’s easy to get carried away during the heat of battle, but a good parent realizes his or her place and does everything possible to support and encourage their child. The dos and don’ts above can help you be a parent any young athlete will love to have rooting in their corner.