Team Moms, Dads: Butt Out
You know what they say; too many cooks can spoil the broth. But what about in the sports field?
Ok, so you want to be a good, supportive parent when your kid tries out for football, basketball or the like, but you better take a step back or you might regret your over-bearing actions.
After all, you don’t want to embarrass your player or tick off the other players on the team, or heaven forbid, mess with the coach.
As a parent who has kids in any kind of sports, you might want to heed these tips/advice for keeping involved but also knowing your limits.
The Challenge of the Challenge
The ultimate goal of the sport experience is be challenged and continually work toward improvement. Unfortunately, judging improvement by winning and losing can be an unfair and inaccurate measure. Winning in sports is about doing the best you can do, separate from the outcome or the play of your opponent. Children should be encouraged to compete against their own potential. In other words, boys should focus on beating “Jim,” competing against themselves, while the girls challenge “Suzie.”
When your child has this focus and plays to better themselves instead of beating someone else, they will be more relaxed, have more fun and therefore perform better.
Be Supportive, not a Pain
Your role on the parent-coach-athlete team is as a support player, be your child’s best fan. And do it unconditionally, which means let the coach, coach. Instead, provide encouragement, support, empathy, transportation, money, help with fund-raisers. Most parents that get into trouble with their children do so because they forget to remember the important position that they play. Coaching interferes with your role as supporter and fan. The last thing your child needs and wants to hear from you after a disappointing performance or loss is what they did technically or strategically wrong. Heed this tip: Don’t parent when you coach and don’t coach at home when you’re supposed to be parenting.
Learning to Fail
If you want your child to be as happy and as successful as at everything they do, teach them how to fail, how to lose. The most successful people in and out of sports do two things differently than everyone else. One, are willing to take risks and as a result, fail more frequently. Second, they use their failures in a positive way as a source of motivation and feedback to improve.
Think like this: You can’t learn to walk without falling enough times. Each time that you fall, your body gets important information on how to do it better. You can’t be successful or have peak performances if you are concerned with losing or failing. Teach your child how to see setbacks, mistakes and learn from them rather than avoid them.