By Amy Masters
We have all been there before. Maybe you got a bit excited about your kid’s soccer game. You enthusiastically were cheering…or maybe it was more like yelling, just a bit too much. We have all done it, got caught up in the moment of supporting your kid playing soccer at age 8. With NCAA Division I opportunities at your door (only kidding), you got caught up in the moment.
Well, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.
For fun, we wanted to see which parent you are, so we came up with a list of parents we noticed on the sidelines. Did we miss any? We love our parents and all that they do, even their passion on the sidelines :-). They truly make sacrifices so we can keep playing.
There are always a couple parents that yell the whole time. They are always yelling something, usually the wrong directions to their player. Sometimes they just yell at their player or at the coach or at the ref. In some cases, they yell at everyone if things don’t go their kid’s way.
Are you the parent that hides from other parents? Ha! We caught you. Maybe you stand alone, maybe you just want to enjoy the game and not get caught up in the crazy world of youth sports. It is ok, hide away and just pat your player on the back when they are done, then grab some ice cream.
“Pass the ball!” Are you the parent that feels the need to coach from the sideline? As a youth sports coach of field hockey, basketball, softball, and lacrosse, it was always a tough situation. Just remember that we are coaching too, and sometimes you may not have the whole picture of what is best for the team. Trust your coach and the process. Our goal is always to have your player in mind.
The Snack Provider
When my son was 5 years old, he played soccer. It was easy to sign up and it kept him running around for 2 hours. Well, he hated it, but I was mad: I had spent $75 on the program and made him stick it out. His favorite part was snack time and usually there were grapes. If you are the snack parent, thank you for keeping the 10 minutes in the middle or end of practice and games for snacks. It made the 2 hours of practice less miserable (lol).
The Car Ride Home Parent
This parent can’t wait to say something on the car ride home. There have been numerous articles about the ride home and the impact on players. Sometimes it is ok to say nothing. Or just wait until your player wants to talk. And sometimes ice cream helps everything. Make a new ritual of getting their favorite snack so every time they play, you have something fun to do after the game.
It IS all fun and games!
All of us at iSport360 are youth sports parents and volunteer coaches. We have seen it all and have even been one of the parents above. HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR PLAYER so they feel
confident on and off the field?
- Your player will make mistakes during a game, just get over it
- Your player may not have a great game or tournament, they aren’t robots, let it go
- Make it fun for your player, something little goes a long way
- Always say you are proud
- Don’t tell them what to do, let the coaches coach
- Encourage your player to advocate for themselves
Amy Masters is head of marketing for iSport360, a sports mom forever, a youth sports coach for over 10 years and club owner. She has seen it all and is now helping others empower youth sports athletes.