It’s Easier Than You Think to Over-Coach Your Child

When you imagine a crazy sports parent, you might picture a mom or dad screaming from the sidelines. But while that’s an extreme version, many parents might accidentally be over-involved in their kid’s sports life without being aware.

Being over-opinionated regarding your child’s athletic performance can lead them to give up the activity altogether. In fact, according to the Changing the Game Project, over-coaching parents might be a reason why 70 percent of children drop out of organized sports by the age of 13.

In order to keep your child on their favorite field and enjoying the experience, it’s important to respect their talents, their abilities and their fellow teammates. Here are a few simple ways to remain supportive without causing a foul:

  1. Put the whistle away at home: Whether you’re the actual coach or just a passionate parent, put down the playbook at home to let your little athlete grow. When you bring pressure from practice or a game home, it can increase stress and anxiety with your children and your relationship.
  2. Have something to say? Do it privately: Sometimes your child may have an issue with another teammate or their coach. The best way to address these situations is in an arranged private conversation after practice, not during a game or yelling from the sidelines.
  3. Tell them what’s most important: “I love you and I love to watch you play” has become a common post-game mantra for sports parents of happy and successful athletes. It combines the right amount of support and love—make sure to say it after both wins and losses.

After your child’s next game, whether their team won or lost, ask about the positives of both the game and their teammates, then mention your own personal highlight that you saw from the stands. This is a great way to analyze a game while remaining upbeat.

Have tips of your own for staying sane through sports seasons? Share in the comments. And check out these other blogs for more insight into having a youngster who plays sports:

Photo Credit: Yatmandu

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