Being A Good Sports Parent

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When your child makes the decision to participate in athletics, one of the things you have to realize is that you are also going to be significantly involved in that sport or activity.   The behavior that you model during athletic contests is going to have a

lasting effect on not only your child but other children and other parents as well.  So it is important not to act like you have just bought cheap sports tickets to the game your child is participating in.

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It has been my experience that ninety nine percent of all parents are supportive of their children in all aspects of their life.  It seems, though, that a large number of them lose all sense of reality and perspective when it comes to their kids participating in sports.  It is so important to keep the proper perspective.  In my experience, I have seen too many parents attach the worth of their child to their performance in an athletic contest.  They act as if they just bought discount tickets online, are sitting around with bear and pizza in the parking lot and going to watch the game.  This is a terrible thing to watch.  If your first comment after a contest isn’t “great try, what do you want to eat?”, then there is something wrong.

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One of the reasons that parents take their children’s sporting achievements so personally, is because they have unresolved issues about their own youthful athletic experiments.  Perhaps they didn’t win the “big game” or got cut from the team, or their father never bought them tickets to a sporting event.  Whatever their own personal demons are, many parents seem like they are looking to relive their glory days through their kids.  The failures of the children are looked at by parents as a poor reflection on them and their abilities.  It always mystifies me that caring people who would never hurt their children in any other way, continually let their child’s athletic career define their worth.  What the parent should do, is treat the sport as the activity it is, a great place to learn lessons about life and how they fit into it all.  You are allowed to fail in a relatively safe environment, and learn valuable life lessons.  To put any more emphasis into it than that is going to perpetuate whatever shortcoming you feel as a parent onto your child and onto their children. Buy some tickets online to a professional sporting event and get all of that poor behavior out of your system.  You can sometimes be exposed to good role models by taking your child to a higher level game.

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One of the more embarrassing things that a parent can do is to be overly loud and authoritative in games.  No child wants their parent to coach them during the game.  Even though your heart may be in the right place, there is nothing good that can come from a parent standing on the sideline continually screaming instructions at their kid.  Worse yet, you are constantly berating the referee or umpire consistently throughout a match.  The screaming parent is probably trying to help their kid succeed, but what they are doing is embarrassing their child, the team and the other team as well.  It is a simple rule that parents should follow: encourage your kids and pull for them.  If you are yelling at a middle school soccer match, and getting upset, you need to readjust your values.  Leave the poor behavior to those that don’t have kids.

It is important to do this, not only for your own mental health but for the long term self-esteem of your child.  You are seen as an adult and a role model by many people.  You are either going to provide a good example or a bad one.  Only you have the ability to make the decision to do this.  When you feel yourself becoming physically angry about the way things are going in a game, recognize that behavior as something you want to avoid and avoid it.  Buy discount tickets online to a classical music concert or a professional ball game.  Do whatever it takes for you to provide the best role model you can for your kids, their teammates and all other adults who may be watching the game as well.  Only you have control over what kind of role model you will be.


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