You don’t have to be a crazy sports parent to be a little too invested in your child’s youth sports experience.
I was never seen as a whacko parent, but there were definitely times when I sensed that I was taking my kids’ games way too seriously. When I was thinking clearly enough to see this, I would force myself to take a couple of steps back.
What are the telltale signs that indicate a parent should step back?
- You stand and pace the sidelines where your child sees you the entire game. (Let me just say that the best thing you can do for your enjoyment of the game is to get a very comfortable stadium chair. I love this one because you can get your child’s team name printed on it!
- You yell at the coach or officials during the game.
- You coach your child before and after the game, even when she doesn’t ask, and during the game, when it’s distracting.
- You lose sleep because you’re worried about your child’s playing time or even if he will make the team.
- You struggle to find things other than sports to talk to your child about.
- You consistently sacrifice family time and make sports the #1 priority in your home.
- You assume that your child will play sports through middle school, high school and even into college, without even discussing it with him.
- You are more concerned about your child’s playing time than you are about her grades.
- You keep your child from trying non-sports interests they really want to try because they are too busy with sports.
- You are fearful of saying “no” to any sports opportunity because you are worried that your child will fall behind other players who say “yes” to those opportunities.
- You have your young child on more than one team at a time.
- You constantly nag your child to work hard and practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more.
In my 21 years of being a sports mom, I’ve been guilty of all 12 of those behaviors at one time or another. Don’t beat yourself up if it happens now and then, but only if you stop, take 2 steps back and remember the bigger picture of youth sports and it’s value in your child’s life.
Replace those behaviors with positive habits that will shape your child’s destiny!
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