New Year's Resolutions for Sports Parents

By Janis Meredith | Posted 1/5/2019

If you made mistakes in your sports parenting in 2018, 2019 is a chance to start fresh and make youth sports a positive and valuable experience for your young athlete.

Will you resolve to:

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1. Express love to your child before the game. Voice your support and love in such a way that has no strings attached to the upcoming game.

2. Bring encouragement as you go out the door with your child to the game. Not your last-minute coaching tips or your comments to subtly or not-so-subtle pressure your kids to perform.

3. Sit with positive spectators at your child’s game. Not around critical, grumbling parents and grandparents who will make your blood pressure climb.

4. Be a total-team supporter. Cheer for your kid, and cheer for others on the team as well. Be an encouraging voice for every player on the field or court.

5. Let your kid have fun. Let them enjoy the game, mistakes and all. What’s the point of playing sports if your kids can’t have fun while exercising and working hard?

6. When the game’s over, let it be over–mistakes and all. Don’t do the rehashing-the-game thing with your kid unless they bring it up and want to talk. Sometimes all they want to do after a bad game is move on.

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7. Make the car ride home a game-free zone. Don’t talk about the game, win or lose, unless they want to talk. Say something positive, then let it drop until they bring it up.

8. Have a life outside of sports. Enjoy other things with your kids that have nothing to do with sports. Play table games, watch movies, go on a family adventure. Kids need balance.

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9. Bite your tongue when you want to whine. Whether it’s to your kid about how terrible his coach is or to your coach about how terrible he is, practice restraint. Set a non-whining example for your kids to follow.

10. Love your child after the game. Let them know that no matter what happens, how they perform, whether they even choose to play another season or sport, that your love is totally unconditional. Say it.

Happy New Year to all! May you have many touchdowns, tackles, field goals, blocked punts, extra points, interceptions, and sacks in 2019!

Janis B. Meredith is a family and parenting coach. She provides resources to help parents raise champions. Learn more about how she can help parents Raise Champions.