Most of us have witnessed firsthand or heard examples of “the obnoxious sports parent”. You know what I’m talking about: The adult on the sideline berating the coach, the referees, other parents, players or anyone he/she perceives as doing an injustice to their child or team. But what about the parent who watches the game, while silently anguishing in doubt, tension, and a feeling of despair, when their child gets up to play? How do we avoid being “that” parent?
I recently read an article by Karrick Dyer on the Changing the Game Project blog, which is a lifeline and a reality check for all of us parents with children in sports. Whether you are standing on the sidelines of a high school playoff game or watching your child tryout for their first travel soccer team, please read this piece and keep a copy of it in your back pocket for future reference. Here is a section of the post that hits home:
Shouldn’t the journey of sports teach these things and more to prepare kids for life beyond sports?
- Standard of excellence
- Work ethic
- To believe in themselves
- To trust others
- The value of encouragement
- To know they aren’t the center of the universe
- To know that success does not come overnight (or in one practice)
- To lose with dignity
- To accept temporary failures without blaming others, and to realize these failures aren’t permanent
- To be pushed to their physical limit, time and time again
- To love and to be loved
- To sacrifice for others
- To respect authority and rules
- To never give up
The article speaks to the end game of youth competition and where we know the journey of sports can and will lead if we will only allow it. We can all avoid being “that” parent. It just takes making a positive choice about ourselves. This article is a great first step.