As a sports parent it’s important to continue learning how we can help our kids. Knowing what kids are thinking and feeling nowaday is important. This generation definitely deals with more pressure. Sports has become a great opportunity in several areas of life. The biggest difference now compared to 20-30 years ago is college and pro chances. This along with the business part of youth sports has turned it into a very competitive mess at times.
Knowing the main purpose for youth athletes
I’m lucky to have so many amazing clients [players & parents].
So many parents who are into giving their kids a better opportunity for something their kids love. All while understanding that they probably won’t play pro and are okay to let the child decide if they want to play college or not.
In the end we want our kids to learn how to take criticism, work well with others, treat everyone with respect and how to work hard in all situations, winning or losing.
I’d rather have a kid who grew up playing youth sports and learning the valuable things in life and not playing college, compared to one who plays college, but acts arrogant, ungrateful or doesn’t know their true identity.
What parents need to remember is that only 2% of high school players will play college and only 2% of college players will play pro.
Of course we don’t tell our kids they can’t do something they dream of, but there are way more important things for them to learn in the meantime.
Don’t make excuses for your kid
Making excuses is one of the worst things a sports parent can do.
When I first started Global Futbol Training, there were a few years I would coach private school teams. The parents were great for the most part, but there was one dad who would complain to the ref all game.
So what did the kid do?
You guessed it. He complained ALL game too.
As a sports parent we need to lead by example. If kids are not taught how to act by their parents there’s a great chance they will grow up and be punks.
Things more important than winning
It’s natural for youth coaches and players to want to win.
Years from now, parents and former players may look back and value most coaches who understood winning is often a by-product of striving to develop skills, character and confidence of ALL their players, not just some.
Sports parents who allow the coach to do their job
Former pros who are now sports parents do one thing really well… They let the coach do their job.
The coach is the coach for a reason. They don’t show up to your job and tell you what to do, so let them do their job.
We all might have a better idea at times, but it’s important to let them do their role.
Coaches don’t get enough credit. It’s not an easy job to manage all the different personalities from players and parents. Most coaches do it because they love soccer/football and helping youth.
The best thing you can do is support them and enjoy the seasons. Learn from the good and bad times and use the sport to help teach values and character to your kids.
© matimix / Depositphotos.com
A sports parent shouldn’t compare their child
One thing we don’t want to do is compare our kids to little Johnny or Sally.
I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of players who were very average athletes growing up, but ended up playing pro.
The point here is all kids develop in different stages.
Some kids are amazing at age 7 and then fall off, while others don’t become great until they are 14 or 16 years old.
Encourage your kids teammates
To encourage means to put courage in. Discourage is to take courage out.
So applaud hard work and sportsmanship.
If there’s a player who might lack talent, but works hard – tell them good job.
There’s too much credit to the kid who scores, when every kid needs to be pumped up and cheered on.
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