Here’s One Thing You CAN Change About Youth Sports

By Janis Meredith | Posted 2/12/2020

In the world of youth sports, it’s very tempting to want to change things all the time.

Have you ever felt yourself wanting to change any of these?

•    the coach’s game strategy

•    your child’s playing time

•    the team rosters

•    the ref’s calls

•    your child’s motivation

•    the outcome of a game

•    the way people act

Although the list could go on and on, the one that stands out as perhaps the most irritating is the people. We often get very frustrated because we simply cannot control the actions of other people.

So why not focus instead of what you can control?

You do have control over the type of people you spend time with and this is something you should be intentional about as a sports parent. If you allow yourself to hang out with complainers, naysayers and negative thinkers, their attitudes will infect you. It’s like being surrounded by people with colds and the flu—getting breathed, touched, coughed on—and expect that you will never get sick. You will get infected.

In his book Sometimes You Win-Sometimes You Learn, John Maxwell says, “Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. Every minute you spend with the wrong people takes away the time you have to spend with the right ones. Change accordingly.”

If you are in the habit of sitting with negative people at your child’s games, try sitting in a new spot. If you gather after every game to rehash the mistakes and second-guess the coach, try walking away from that conversation or at least steer it in a different direction.

You may not be able to change much at all about your child’s experience, but you can change who you let influence you and shape your outlook on the season.

Take a step to change that one piece and I think you’ll find that your child’s season will be a lot more enjoyable for you and for your child merely because you’re not letting negativity from others cloud your thoughts.

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


USA Football's new model for youth football is designed to make the game safer by reducing contact and by teaching the game based on an athlete's age, the skill they are learning and game type.