We all have probably been guilty of at least one of these at one point or another. However, don't be "that" parent. Break the cycle, now. Your kids, their coaches, and fellow sports parents will thank you later.
1.The drop-off parent. Usually, the one that uses the two-hour practice as free babysitting? I get that we all have lots to do and not a lot of time, however, try and make it to a few of their practices if you can. You will stay up to date on team news, meet some cool parents, and possibly even see why your kid didn't get as much playing time this week as they did last week.
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2.The non-volunteering parent. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it takes a village. There are so many ways to get involved with your child's team/league. Volunteer to bring snacks after the game, to work the scoreboard, help with chains at home games, work the concession stand. It should never have to fall on the same people, no matter how much they are willing to do! After all, your player looks forward to the halftime oranges just as much as the rest of the kids on his team.
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3.The side-line coach parent. The one that thinks the real coach has the wrong starting lineup. Or the one who yells his own plays from the bleachers. Or the one who tells a child to go left, even though the coach specifically told him to go right. Just don't do it. If you want to coach, do it the right way. Sign up at the beginning of the season, attend the meetings, complete the required background check just like everyone else did. It's confusing and flat out not fair to your child to have to choose between listening to his father or his coach.
4. My kid is the best parent. We all think our children are the greatest, that's what us parents do. However, shouting it out during the middle of the game because coach just benched your all-star is not the place. Take all the energy and practice with him behind the scenes. They can't control the minutes they play, but they can control the play in the minutes they get.
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5.The no clue what time the game (or practice!) is parent. Chances are the team has some type of share site that will even send you reminders the day before the game. If not, I'm pretty sure coach emailed you the schedule at the beginning of the season. Save it. Print it out. Write it in your planner as I do. Tie a string around your finger. Do whatever you have to do to be sure your athlete arrives on time. Not only is his coach waiting for him, but his teammates are also as well. There's nothing worse than having to run right onto the field without having done a single warm-up...it is a cramp waiting to happen?
At the end of the day, the money we spend, the countless time we invest, and the gas our truck guzzles running all over town is all, for one thing, them. Let's not ruin it!
Vanessa Mejia is the mother of three football-playing boys, ages 15, 13 and 10, and lives in northern Virginia. Her boys also play basketball, soccer and track and field. She shares Team Mom ideas, tips and tricks along with other facets of her family’s life away from the football field. Read more of her work at https://confessionsofasportsmama.blogspot.com. You can also join her and hundreds of other football-loving moms in the Confessions of a Sports Mama Facebook Group.