3 reasons some sports parents are clueless

By Janis Meredith | Posted 5/18/2016

On every team in every league, there are sports parents who are clueless to the true and lasting value of the youth sports experience.

What causes a parent to be so unaware?

Here are a few reasons that sports parents may not see the clear picture.

  • Puppet masters. They are too wrapped up in wanting their child to succeed, look good and get a college scholarship without really considering what their children want. Whether a parent is pushing a child to achieve what they achieved or perhaps what they did not achieve, the fact remains that it is the parent’s dream, not the child’s.
  • Blinded by love. Sometimes, that is a good thing. Love is supposed to overlook a lot of mistakes and weaknesses, but when it comes to kids and sports, being blind to reality is not a good thing. Your child may not be as skilled as you think he is. And that’s OK. He should never stop trying if he wants to play, but you may have to accept the fact that he is not going to excel like you want him to.
  • No obstacles. Many parents adopt the philosophy that it is their job to pave the way for their child’s success. This causes them to step in and fight battles that the child should be fighting for himself. As a parent, it is not your responsibility to make life easy for your child. It’s your job to prepare him for when life is not easy.

If you can admit that you are a sports parent who doesn’t get it, then I congratulate you for even reading this post. You are definitely making a step in the right direction by being willing to listen to a positive alternative.

If you know sports parents who don’t get it, the best way to help them is to be a positive sports parenting voice in the youth sports culture. You can make a difference – one person, one conversation, one comment at a time.

Sports parents who don’t get it need you to step up and be part of the positive sports parenting tribe, and hopefully they will follow your lead.

Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach's wife, writes a sports parenting blog called JBM Thinks. She authored the Sports Parenting Survival Guide Series and has a podcasting series for sports parents. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.