10 Traits of Positive Sports Parent

By Janis Meredith | Posted 12/23/2019

Of the millions of children playing youth sports, I wonder how many of their parents are positive? I certainly don’t know the facts, but I have been around youth sports long enough to know what traits make a sports parent an asset to their child’s experience, and not a detriment.

Here are 10 of the most important traits:

Loves child regardless of performance.

Your child knows that they are loved whether they win or lose and that their mistakes do not evoke your disapproval or disappointment.

Lets the coaches do their job.

Parents and coaches have different jobs in youth sports—Coaches are there to teach, motivate and challenge; parents are there to encourage and support—but they should always be on the same team.

Supports the team.

Find some way to help the team, no matter how big or small the task. If enough parents do this, things will get done without overloading one parent.

Learns from their mistakes.

Part of the wisdom we gain as parents come when we recognize, learn from and move on from our parenting mistakes.

Shows gratitude.

Positive sports parents find reasons to be thankful, instead of always complaining about what’s wrong. Find the victories and be grateful for them. Take time to thank the people who make it possible for the season to happen.

Avoids comparisons.

Comparing your child to another athlete or sibling may seem like an efficient motivational tactic, but actually its impact is short-lived if it even works at all.

Learns to let go.

Resist the temptation to always make your child’s path smooth and easy. There are times to step in and help. Then there are times to let go and allow your child to figure things out on their own.

Thinks realistically.

It’s one thing to believe in your child, to support them and let them strive towards their dream; it’s another to force your child to become someone they are not.

Lets their child own the experience.

Of course, your child will be influenced by your desires and interests. But it’s important for your child to carve their own path and be their own person.

Sees the bigger picture.

Rewards and accolades are fun, but the most important thing to remember is what your child becomes on the journey of playing sports.

Armed with these traits, you will not only give your child a great season, you can be a positive influence on the culture of your team and community.

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