How to Be an Awesome Sports Parent and Still Have Time for Yourself

By Janis Meredith | Posted 6/24/2019

Being an awesome sports parent is not synonymous with being a super mom or dad. You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to say yes to every request for help. You don’t have to be at every single game and practice.

You may wonder, is it even possible to be an awesome sports parent and still have time for myself?

The answer is YES, but the path may not be easy. I don’t think I have to convince you of the importance of having time to yourself. Every parent feels the need for it, but when it comes to following through, it’s easy to lead the tyranny of the urgent control your day.

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Here’s what you must do if you want to be an awesome sports parent and still have time for yourself:

Step #1: Commit to It.

If you do not believe it’s important, you will not stay on track. Commit to it as you would to a new job, or a diet, or a workout regime.

Step #2: Plan for it.

If you do not keep a calendar of family, personal and work events, then start now. Begin by scheduling in the absolute events in ink, then pencil in the optional events (so they can be erased if need be), and then see what’s left. If there is no space for any you- time, then find that time by erasing an optional event.

Here’s where it gets hard. As parents, we feel guilty for missing one event. Mom or Dad, you do not have to sit through every one of your child’s practices! And I’d even go so far as to say it’s okay to miss a game every once in a while, if you can’t find any other you- time.

Finding you-time takes intentionality. It will not just suddenly appear on your calendar. You must schedule it in---in ink.

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Step #3: Be picky about your YES.

It is important for you to do your part to help the team, but that doesn’t mean accepting every volunteer job. Don’t let the other parents off the hook so easily; say yes to a job that will not stress you out or overwhelm you, and let other parents learn to say yes too.

Step #4: Be a Present Sports Parent.

Being a present sports parent does not mean that you are present at every event or that you say yes to every request your young athlete makes.

Being a present sports parent means that, even when you are not at every game or practice, you show support to your child by listening and asking questions. And I’m not talking about questions like How many points did you score? How many minutes did you play?

Focus instead on questions that give your child a chance to talk about his or her feelings. What’s the best thing that happened at practice today? What was your favorite part of the game? What’s the best part about playing soccer? Give eye contact and let your child know you are listening to every word.

Giving your child a positive youth sports experience is less about your doing and more about your being. Your athlete does not need every minute of your day; instead focus on giving unconditional love and support. That is what will truly make you an awesome sports parent.

Janis Meredith is a family coach who wants to help all parents raise champions. You can find out more at