Soccer Moms and Hockey Dads

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Parents these days go well above and beyond the norm when it comes to coaching and supervising their child's sports teams.  Sometimes however, it goes a little far.  Don't get me wrong here, parents need to be in their child's life for support, but how far is too far?

I have many clients who spend numerous evenings at volleyball games, hockey games, you name it, they are there up to 4 nights a week.  This doesn't always include practice their kids need to attend.

Now, we have all seen “that parent”, who takes their kids games to the extreme.  Whether it be taunting the refs, yelling at the coaches, or scolding their kids in front of other parents.  These are all things that occur all too often and will have a negative impact not only on their children, but indirectly on themselves.

I have a small list here of some signs that may relate to you as the parent.  I'll let you decide where you fit in and what you can do to fix them.

The “Nightmare” Parent -

Overemphasizing sports at the expense of sportsmanship.  Parents demonstrating negative energy or displeasure during an event are sending the wrong message.  Athletes tend to keep their emotions in check, parents need to learn to do the same.

Treating your child different after a win or loss.  Parents should treat their children the same regardless of the outcome.  Don't value your child based off a win or loss.

Living your dream through your child.  If you as the parent are upset or depressed after the outcome of your child's game, maybe you should step back and put your goals in perspective. Just because your kid doesn't perform in the games the way he practices, or misses a game winning basket, you should not get down on yourself over it.  This is your child's life and fun activity, not yours!

The “Ideal” Sports Parent -

Cheer for everyone on the team, not just your child.  Obviously you want your child to perform well, but it is a team event and you must support the other children out there as well. Encourage the team.

Know when is the right time to approach a coach.  This is something that happens all too often and can easily be fixed.  Do this in private and with a positive attitude.  Go about it as if you are asking ways to help coach your child.  Perhaps drills the two of you can work on together to help your child in the future.  Showing you care and asking the coaches for advice is the best way to go.  Trust me, it shows you care as a parent and will translate to the coaches better than abusive language.

Listen to your child and encourage them.  If and when they want to share their thoughts with you on the games they just played, listen to them and do not criticize them.  It takes a lot for children to open up, be encourage by this and encourage them back!

Hopefully this article puts some perspective into you as parents.  Be there for your children and encourage them by demonstrating positive reinforcement.  After all, you are who they turn to in life when they need it!

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