7 things you should not expect from your athlete

By Janis Meredith | Posted 6/28/2017

Believing in your child is important. Helping them set high goals is also important. But setting expectations that are too high for your kids will only result in you being disappointed. Kids are kids, after all, and are still in the growing process to become adults.

If you expect any of these things from your athlete, you may want to reassess your assumptions. Do you expect your child to….

  1. Play the position like you would? As your child plays his position on the field, it’s okay for him to do it differently than you would. At least they're trying. They may make different decisions in the game and those choices may need some tweaking. But that will come as they grows.
  2. Listen to everything you say? Sometimes, parents, we get a little carried away with our story-telling and our “lectures.” It’s easy to lose our kids when we do. As your child grows, you will have to become more tuned in to those times of receptivity.
  3. Always obey? Your kids are imperfect humans and they will rebel and disobey. Don’t be surprised or hurt when this happens. It’s part of their search for independence.
  4. Always be honest? No one has to teach your child to lie, it’s a natural instinct when they are afraid of something. So don’t be surprised when it happens. However, be prepared to redirect them towards the importance of honesty.
  5. Appreciate you? For all the hours you spend driving them to practices and games, for all the money you spend so they can play, or for all the sacrifices you make? You may go days, months, or even years before your athlete expresses their appreciation for all that you’ve done. Parents are probably one of the least appreciated groups on the planet.
  6. Be your confidante? There are just some things that parents should keep to themselves and not share with their kids. Your child doesn’t need to know that you have serious doubts about their coach and they don't need to hear the gossip about the other sports parents on the team.
  7. Always need you? The older your athlete gets, the more they will realize that they can do things on their own. They can fight their own battles and push themselves. If you’ve done your parenting job right, they won’t need you to do this for you.

Keep your child’s age and ability in mind when you set your expectations. And remember, you are not a perfect parent, so don’t expect more from your kids than you do of yourself.

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.