How to be a super sports parent

By Janis Meredith | Posted 3/8/2017

What’s the best way for you to help your child enjoy playing sports? Their desire to continue playing just may hinge on how YOU behave. Try these suggestions on how you can be a super sports parent:

Be a team supporter. Cheer for your child and for others on the team. It’s tempting for spectators to mutter criticisms to each other from the stands, but be careful what you say; you never know whose parent you are sitting by.

Let the coach do his job. Leave the coaching to the coach. Parents who coach from the sidelines distract their kids, undermine the coach, and irritate other spectators. If you really want to help your kid, work with him or her on your own time.

Give the coach time. If you want to confront him about something, it’s best to wait 24 hours after the game. Give yourself and him time to cool down. I have seen parents yell at the coach across the field or court during a game. That tactic never solves anything.

Let the ref work in peace. I will admit that officials do make bad calls; they are human after all. But complaining never changes anything. The only thing that can possibly come from yelling at a ref is getting thrown out of a game. If you really think he or she is doing such a bad job, take it up with his or her superiors later.

Donʼt be a clock watcher. You will enjoy the game more if you are not obsessed with how much playing time your child gets. Parents usually worry about it more than kids do. Watching the clock only frustrates you.

Stay positive, even if it’s not a happy ending. Whether your child’s team loses or your child has a bad game, the last thing he or she needs after the game is your critique of what went wrong. Let him or her feel bad, offer a hug and voice praise for a strong effort.

See the bigger picture of sports. Playing sports brings excitement and recognition. Who knows? It may even help pay for college and open doors for the future, but nothing is more important than who your son becomes in the process.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called Her new book 11 Habits for Happy and Positive Sports Parents is on Amazon.