If you’re a sports parent you know exactly how much of your life revolves around sports; the whole family calendar is subject to it! It only gets more complicated when you have more than one youth athlete in the house. Every new season starts exactly the same, 0-0-0, so why not start 2015 on the right foot and make it a great year for your sports family.
Here are five New Year’s resolutions for sports parents gearing up for the 2015 season:
I will tell my athlete “I love to watch you play.”
When reviewing the results of an informal survey that lasted three decades, hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: “What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?” Their overwhelming response: “The ride home from games with my parents.” When asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame, their overwhelming response: “I love to watch you play.”
I will support my athlete’s decision to play more/less.
Some kids live, breathe, eat and sleep sports; they even want to sleep in their uniforms! Other kids love to play simply because they like being on the same team as their friends. Still more play just because they want to please their mom and dad. In 2015, make sure your athlete is playing youth sports because THEY want to and because THEY love it. If they really want to take a season off let them do so (provided it hasn’t already started). Sometimes you need to a mental and physical break and some time to reevaluate what you (meaning the player) want for next season.
I will cheer from the sidelines, not coach.
As a sports parent, your job is to make sure your child gets to their practices and games on time, that they have everything they need to play (including proper nutrition and hydration) and then just support them like crazy! If you are constantly coaching your child from the sidelines you are putting them in an awkward spot; do they listen to you or their coach? If you really think you could do a better job than past coaches than take 2015 as the opportunity to step up to the plate (pun intended) and really learn what being a sports coach is like.
I will be a total-team supporter.
If you couldn’t make it to a game (cause life happens) wouldn’t you want someone to cheer on your child when they make a great play? In 2015, don’t just resolve to support your own athlete, support the entire team. Cheer, applaud, give out some high-fives; you don’t need to artificially inflate anyone’s egos but give credit where credit is due! And please, don’t throw your child’s teammates under the bus when they make a mistake. It can create an uncomfortable team dynamic between the players.
I will let the game be over when it’s over.
Don’t force your child to talk about the game, win or lose, unless they want to. Say something positive and then let them lead the conversation. Nit picking every single thing that went wrong isn’t going to change the final score, and chances are it won’t make them perform better next time. Give your athlete some time to process what happened and address it when they are ready.