8 Tips for Parents with Kids Who Play Youth Sports

Dad high-fiving daughter playing soccer

When your child plays youth sports, we know you want to be the best parent you can be and make sure they’re set up for success! The most important thing to do is make sure your child is happy and having fun. It’s easy to get caught up in the game just like the players and coaches do, but you should always set a good example for your child. Check out these 8 tips for parents with kids who play youth sports:

1. Let them know having fun is the most important.

One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to make sure your young athlete is having fun. Let them know that having fun should always come before anything else. Most kids go into a sport thinking that winning is the goal, and your job is to show them that the real goal is enjoying themselves. Win or lose, the only thing that matters is if they have a good time both during practice and during games.

2. Don’t live your dreams through your children.

Another tip to keep in mind is to make sure you’re not living your dreams through your children. Don’t force them to play basketball just because you played basketball as a child, or because you missed an opportunity to become a young basketball star. If you find yourself caring more about how well your child plays than they do, it may be a sign to take a step back. Let your young athlete create their own path instead of following the path you have for them in your head.

3. Make sure your children are eating and drinking right.

mother and daughter eating a saladYou can’t control what happens on the court or field, but you can control what they are putting into their bodies. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure your children are eating and drinking right. Without proper nutrition and hydration, young athletes will feel sluggish. This makes it more likely for them to get injured. Dehydration also increases the risk of heat illness.

4. Always be supportive.

Win or lose, always be supportive of your young athlete. If they have a bad game and are feeling down on themselves, give them encouragement. Let them know that it’s not about winning or losing and more about focusing on fun. You should even make a point to cheer for all players on the team and not just your own child as a show of support for the team!

5. Be a positive role model.

Make sure that you’re being a positive role model and setting a good example for your child. Treat the other players and the coach with respect, and your child will be more likely to do so. It’s also important to set a good example of being active. Get outside and play with each other! If they see you up and moving it’ll motivate them to get up too!

6. Let the coach do the coaching.

A coach encouraging young football players.While you may want to step in and give out pointers to your child, always let the coach do the coaching. The biggest problem with parents coaching is you might be telling them one thing while the coach is telling them another. It’s important to keep the roles of being a parent and being a coach separate. It’s your job to encourage them to be better and work hard, but leave it to the coach to tell them how to play the game.

7. Volunteer to help the team.

Volunteering to help the team isn’t required, but it’s never a bad idea! Youth sports largely depends on contributions from willing parents. The more people who are willing to help out, the easier it will be for everyone. Volunteering to help involves things like selling tickets, filling drink bottles, anything you can do to lend a hand!

8. Encourage positive life lessons.

You should leave the coaching to the coach, but what you can do is encourage positive life lessons. Talk to them about the importance of commitment, and remind them of the commitments they’ve made to the team. You can also teach them about perseverance. Don’t let them get discouraged if they’re playing badly. Explain to them that it takes hard work and dedication to be good at something.

About Rocky Top Sports World

An outdoor field at Rocky Top Sports World with beautiful mountain views.Located just minutes away from the heart of Gatlinburg, Rocky Top Sports World is one of the best tournament destinations in the country! With seven fields, six basketball courts, 12 volleyball courts, team rooms, and an on-site grill, our 80-acre athletic complex has everything you need for an incredible sports event. Check out our Tournaments page to read about all of the fun happening at our complex in the upcoming months!