Whether itʼs baseball, softball, golf, tennis, track, lacrosse or soccer, outdoor competition brings a new set of challenges for sports parents. Follow these guidelines to be a spring sports parent superstar.
Keep your child hydrating. As the temps rise, and heat drains your young athlete, be sure they are drinking water all the time, not just before and during games and practices.
Be a total team supporter. Cheer for your child and for others on the team. Itʼs tempting for spectators to mutter criticisms to each other from the stands, but be careful what you say; you never know whose parent you are sitting by. If you want the freedom to commentate, bring lawn chairs and sit away from the bleachers.
Let the coach do his job. Some parents, understandably, like to pace the sidelines. But if you do, leave the coaching to the coach. Parents who coach from the sidelines distract their kids, undermine the coach, and irritate other spectators. If you really want to help your kid, work with him or her on your own time.
Give the coach time. If you want to confront him about something, itʼs best to wait 24 hours after the game. Give yourself and him time to cool down. I have seen parents yell at the coach across the field or court during a game. Whatʼs the point of that? You think the coach is gonna stop the game to listen to what you have to say?
Let the ref work in peace. Yes, refs and umps are sometimes bad. Weʼve all complained about bad calls. But it never changes anything. All it does is relieve parental frustration. The only thing that can possibly come from yelling at a ref is getting thrown out of a game. If you really think he or she is doing such a bad job, take it up with his superiors later.
Donʼt count the minutes, or the innings, or the plays. You will enjoy the game more if you are not obsessed with how much playing time your child gets. Parents usually worry about it more than kids do. Watching the clock only frustrates you.
Stay positive, even if itʼs not a happy ending. Whether your childʼs team loses or your child has a bad game, the last thing he or she needs after the game is your critique of what went wrong. Let them feel bad, give them a hug, tell them you are proud of their effort, and let it go.
See the bigger picture of sports. Playing sports brings excitement and recognition. Who knows? It may even help pay for college and open doors for the future, but nothing will ever be more important than the type of person your son or daughter becomes in the process.
Janis was brought up in a sports family, married a man who has coached for 27 years, and has had three kids play sports from age 5 to college. She sees issues a bit differently, with a perspective of life from both sides of the bench--as a coach's wife and as an athlete's parent. jbmthinks.blogspot.com
In this episode of Become we meet Paula. A single mom with 4 kids, Paula manages to hold down multiple jobs and be there for her kids every step of the way. Whether it's her support in sports or in schoolwork, she knows putting in time with her kids is her number one priority and she wouldn't have it any other way.