10 lies that sports parents believe

By Janis Meredith | Posted 5/10/2017

There are a lot of lies circulating around the youth sports world; many are not intentional, but perpetrated out of ignorance. However, they have hurt the youth sports culture and encouraged negative behavior.

RELATED: USA Football's Youth Football Parents 101 course, with Christine and Mike Golic

Do you believe any of these sports parenting lies?

  1. My kid’s coach does not know what he is doing. Perhaps he doesn’t know the sport as well as you do, and perhaps you don’t like his strategy, but he knows his players and sacrifices to be there for your child. Give him a break. If you don’t like the way he does things, volunteer to coach next time.
  2. My kid has to play one sport year-round to stand out. Most sports experts agree that kids who specialize early in one sport will either burn out early or will not become the best they can be. Athletes who crosstrain and play multiple sports usually end up be better for it.
  3. I have to fight my kid’s battles. When you do that, you rob your child of the opportunity to grow stronger as a person.
  4. My kid’s gonna play Division 1 college. Perhaps he is. Perhaps he isn’t. First of all, is that what he wants? And second, if your child truly wants to play in college, there are options besides D-1.
  5. My kid is the best player on the team. Maybe your child is good, but who’s to say she is the “best?” What is your definition of “best?” Most talented? Best leader? Most unselfish player? Every kid is “the best” at something.  
  6. I have to push my children, or they won’t be successful in sports. Pushy parents are control freaks who feel as if their child’s success is totally their responsibility. Your child has to learn responsibility and letting him be his own “pusher” is a great way for him to learn that. 
  7. My kid should play sports because I did. Your child does not have to be your clone. Let him follow his own dreams.
  8. Winning is the most important thing. The older you get in youth sports, the more important it becomes. But the best coaches and parents – the ones who truly care about the development of character in their athletes – are those that know there’s more to sports than winning.
  9. My kid has to pay big bucks to play club or travel sports to keep up. Your child does not have to play club sports to stay in shape, to play the game or to work hard in the offseason. There are cheaper and easier ways to stay on top of the sport and get game experience.
  10. Playing time is a priority if my child is going to get anything out of sports. Playing time is actually not the measuring stick of a successful season; character development, skill improvement, and hard work are.


Janis B. Meredith is a sportsparenting blogger, podcaster, and life coach. She provides resources to help parents give their children a positive and growing youth sports experience. Her book 11 Habits for Happy & Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon