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BEING A GOOD SPORTS PARENT


Being a Good


Sports Parent is not a natural skill. In fact, being a good sports parent often conflicts with natural parenting instincts such as protecting, educating and supervising. Standing on the sidelines, we are forced to resist the temptation to help out and must watch over our children as they learn to act independently and become the young people we want them to be.


You will know if you are a


good sports parent if your child is eager to go to training and love playing their sport. Although this sounds like a test that requires little parental support, it is a test that actually requires a great deal of parental involvement. A child’s development is never a straight path of constant improvement. At various times, children will develop quickly, slowly, not at all or even regress. Sometimes children will believe they are the best player and at other times the worst. Parents need to be there to help their children understand this process which is further complicated by growth spurts and hormonal changes.


Helping a child in sport is often an emotional and difficult path. If a parent is too pushy then children feel pressured and often drop out. If parents are too nurturing, children fail to learn the lessons of self-motivation and hard work. Parental praise encourages further effort. Indiscriminate praise can create a child who can’t objectively measure their own efforts. Finding the right balance is the key to Being a Good Sports Parent.


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Children are always their own worst critics. They are naturally self critical, self-aware and self-conscious. Parents don’t help by being more critical or comparing their child’s performance against others. Education is patient, encouraging, consistent, nurturing and repetitive.


Parents can overcome the effects of a negative coach, however, a coach


can’t overcome the effects of a negative parent. Not every child wants to play sports. If children decide that they want to quit playing then parents should at least feel comfortable that their behaviour did not influence that decision.


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