Parenting an elite athlete is not an easy task. While everyone has different views on exactly what child athletes need we can agree on a few common factors.Your support, not another coach.
This is number one and typically the hardest for parents of child athletes. Your job as a parent is to provide encouragement, support, empathy. The last thing your child needs is to have a coach on the field and a coach at home. It’s okay to let their coach take the reins and let you as a parent be the supporting fan. Remember you are your child’s number one fan.
Your undivided attention at competitions.
It is easy to get caught up with your phone, other kids, or conversing with other parents. But what your elite athlete really wants from you is your undivided attention. How many times has your child ever said, “watch me do this”, while performing their new trick or their latest talent? Your child wants you to watch and pay attention to what they are doing and while they are on the field they feel no different even if they don’t express it. Remember with all the distractions that once again you are your child’s number one fan.
Your unconditional love.
How wrapped up do we get in winning? How wrapped up do we get in our child being the best? Do not equate your child’s self-worth and lovability with their performance on the field. Don’t punish your child for a bad performance by withdrawing emotionally from them. Your child strikes out or makes an error, don’t respond with anger, respond with love and support.
For you to realize it’s their dream not yours
There is a fine line between being supportive and being the crazy sports parent; you want to do your best not to cross into the latter. Accept the fact that your child athlete may not be as athletically gifted as you were when you were a kid and cheer them on no matter their skill level. It’s time to push your dreams aside and focus on your child and their sport aspirations. Raising an elite athlete is not an easy job, but it is worth it!
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