While all sports teams need fans, be sure as a partner you are more of a fan than a fanatic when it comes to cheering your kind on. Here are some tips to help keep that fine line in check:
Support your athlete; don’t live through them
Parents tend to live through their children and take it personal if they succeed or fail. Separate your desire for success away from your child’s productivity in their sport, and make sure they know, win or lose; you’ll support them either way.
Don’t scream negatives!
While in the stands, try to avoid yelling negative comments toward anyone. Whether it’s the officials, coaches, others in the stands, or the athletes, always stay positive and constructive.
Remember you win more bees with honey than vinegar!
Show passion, but keep it realistic. Use wins and losses as teaching points where you can help your athlete grow and mature. As an athlete, youth often feel like their performances, and win-loss records define them. As parents and coaches, we need to let them know there is more to life than sports.
Effort, teamwork, hustle, respect, skill development, and sportsmanship: All of these are types of values we should celebrate when our athletes are competing. Often, we hear fans placing one player above all others because of their stats or awards, but we need to make sure all competitors see the value in their contribution no matter their impact on the score board.
So go ahead, cheer on your youth sports player and make them feel like they have a true fan in the stands and not a fanatic that could potentially embarrass them!