It’s perhaps the most blatant polarity in youth sports: the overzealous parent everyone is watching and the parent nobody knows because he or she is never there. Gossip among team parents may be hard to miss, but another element often goes unacknowledged—the effect your behavior has on your young athlete.
While many parents realize the value of supporting children who play sports, the way in which they do it may miss the mark. Some parents are inclined to shout as much as they can during a game. They think, my kid can see me, they’re hearing my advice, so that must be okay, right?
Then there are those who enroll their children yet secretly believe it’s a waste of time. The solution? It’s all about finding balance. You can support your child through attending games, being there when they’re frustrated and, most importantly, using sports to teach life lessons.
Observe How You’re Speaking and Acting During the Game
Words can hurt, even when they’re well intentioned. For kids, the sensitivity level can be even higher. Oftentimes, the most praise comes when someone scores a touchdown or slides into home base.
Instead, try offering positive comments to your kid when they perform well in other ways during the game. If he or she is a beast on assists or really skilled on creating opportunities for the team to score, capitalize on it. You could even commend the way they help to pump up the team or take the leadership role in certain situations.
Youth sports presents a lot of moments to show your child how to handle situations appropriately. Staying calm and logical during bad calls from the ref or even during a tense discussion with another parent provides a powerful example for your child.
Your Child Is Making a Commitment, and You Should Too
It’s often said a parent is as happy as their saddest child. The phrase lends itself to the concept that parents usually experience the battles and accomplishments their kids experience, to an extent.
When your child delves into something, you often become a part of it regardless of whether you wanted to. But that’s part of what helps your child succeed. It’s the relief of having that constant support when you’re still fairly new to the world and when you may not have the confidence to go at it alone.
For youth athletes, one of the most important impressions made is the interest and time their parents put into their sport. Rushing from work to a game or volunteering to help run the scoreboard takes effort, but it’s worth it. Those acts create a lasting effect that tell children you support them not only in sports but also in life.
Results from a survey of professional minor league baseball players showed that throughout their youth, the majority of their parents regularly attended games, provided financial support for sports gear and skills programs, practiced at home with them and encouraged them to pursue a higher level of play, among other supportive acts.
The data definitely solidifies the importance of involving oneself in a child’s sport. Yet, it’s easy to see simply from experience that parental commitment positively influences young players.
See the Bigger Picture of Sports
Youth soccer coach Sue Mak said it well when she stated, “Good sports parents realize [sports] is a tool to teach your child about life.”
Almost everything kids face in sports, from victories and achievements to fatigue and injuries, relates to something else they’ll face in the future. Sports allow them to experience adversity and learn how to handle it.
Sports also provide kids an opportunity to develop teamwork skills, which will help them thrive in the workplace, and to set personal goals, which will teach them how to achieve milestones throughout life.
Show Your Child Support By Choosing Teams of Tomorrow
Teams of Tomorrow blends basketball fundamentals with academic skills and agility exercises, emphasizing the importance of both physical and mental fitness. We prepare youngsters for future sports by introducing them to foundational techniques. Enroll your child in TOT today!