5 Ways To Be a Model Sports Parent for Your Kids
When it comes to your kids, mom and dad set the example for how to act. Not only is this true in life but also when it comes to youth sports. Your kids notice the way you act at games, practices and events. They notice how you treat them when it comes to discussions about sports. Don’t be the obnoxious sports parent that routinely embarrasses their children at youth sporting events. Here are 5 ways to be a model sports parent for your kids:
1. Show Support
Nothing means more to a child than support from mom and dad! Support of your child athlete takes many forms including emotionally, logistically and financially. Make sure to take the time out to attend as many practices and games as you can so your child sees that you care. While at these events, make sure you’re paying attention rather than playing on your phone. At the end of the day, the most important thing is your child knows you love them regardless of any outcome on a court or field.
2. Provide Positive Feedback
Sports are a great way to help boost self-esteem in kids! Being a part of a team with similar goals can increase the self-worth of your child. Good advice starts with productive feedback that’s positive in nature. Showing empathy after a tough loss serves as a great learning lesson for how to battle adversity. When your kids show excitement when talking about a sport, match it to help encourage them to continue their individual sports journey. Positive feedback should extend beyond your children. Don’t be the embarrassing parent who screams and harasses officials. Always be courteous and polite toward referees and officials to set a good example for your kids. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all!
3. Be Realistic
Not every child will end up being a professional athlete. Not even close. It’s important to keep that in mind when it comes to your kids’ involvement in youth sports. Be realistic about your child’s skill level. Parents who set too high of expectations can place unnecessary extra stress and pressure on their children. Regardless of individual success, kids learn many life lessons from participating in youth sports. Those life lessons are more valuable than any win.
4. Get To Know Others
Being a model sports parent starts with showing genuine interest. Learn the names of the other kids on your child’s team and cheer for them as well as your own. Get to know other parents to build friendships and share advice for handling certain situations. Parents often share advice with one another as many times kids find themselves in similar situations. Volunteer to help the team in any way, like providing transportation or snacks for practices.
5. Don’t Be Pushy
It’s important to remember that it’s your children who are playing and not you. You should encourage your child to participate in sports but only if they show a genuine interest. The last thing you want to do is force your child into thinking they need to play a sport in order to have value in your eyes. Let your kids decide which sports they play and the level of commitment they wish to put into it.
Following these pointers will help you be a model sports parent for your kids! Being a sports parent comes with its share of challenges. Follow these tips for parents to make sure your child has a blast competing.