5 Tips On How to Be Supportive Parents On and Off The Field
As parents and parent coaches we are to set the example for how our athletes will behave on and off the field. From the time children are little they are watching you and how you act, respond to conflict, and treat others. We might not think they understand, but they will do what you do. This is a big issue when it comes to any sports. If we are the loud mouth, obnoxious, critical, vulgar parent in the stands or on the sidelines then that is the path our children will follow. Here are five ways we can set good examples for our children even at young ages:
- Encourage more than criticize
As our kids get older and into more competitive sports the amount of criticism increases rapidly. Soon the sport that they love become a job. This is where we notice that our child is receiving criticism from all angles like their coaches, clinics they attend, and possibly future college coaches. As parents, we need to take a step back and realize there is a time for corrective criticism and time for encouragement. Corrective criticism is wonderful and completely necessary, but be mindful to encourage and praise your child with every critical comment. When kids are overloaded with criticism and the encouragement is nowhere to be found is when they stop falling out of love with the sport that has captured their heart.
- Set the example for your kid
As it was mentioned earlier kids are always watching. If you are being the crazy parents in the stands trash talking the other team or being intentionally rude then your kids will think that is okay. We must conduct ourselves in a way that if our kid was acting that way we would be proud. Yes, there are times when our over- protective parent side needs to come out full force, but we must be mindful of our attitude and behavior all the other times.
- Encourage your child’s teammates as well as your own child
Be the parent that all the other kids on the team love. Be the parent that is cheering for everyone on the team not just your own kid. There are very few sports that are single person sports. Remember your child is on a team where everybody is putting forth effort. Do not forget to be cheering on the whole team!
- Don’t intentionally talk bad about your child’s teammates and coaches in front of them
Again, our kids are watching our every move. We must remember that everyone is human and makes mistakes. Including your child’s coach, your child’s teammates, and your child. There are times people will mess up, call the wrong plays, make the wrong pass, and have an error in judgement. Regardless, that does not give us the right to get in the car and completely trash talk the other kids on the team, the coaches, or even the refs. Your kids are following your example. If they hear you saying these negative things, then they will follow and do the same.
- Work with your child outside of practice on skills in a fun-loving manner
Growing up when I was playing basketball I heard this quote that said, “Champions aren’t made in packed gyms in the winter, but in empty gyms in summer”, and this is the same with all sports. Great players are not made during their season, but with how hard they work in their off season. This is where we as parents’ can invest in time with our child as they grow in the blink of an eye and work with them on skills to help them improve. This is where the SoccerTee is an awesome tool. The SoccerTee is a fun way to work with your child on repetition, technique, and how to have fun in the sport they love.
Let us all work together to encourage and inspire our kids during these precious adolescent years.
Let us be the parents who invest meaningful time and effort into our kid’s lives.
Let us be the parents who set the example for our kids to have sportsmanship, integrity, and passion for the sports they love.
Let us be the those parents.