Hey Guys! Below is a blurb from my dad, Harry Fee who was pretty passionate about sharing his experiences as parent in Sport. There are some interesting things to think about…
“The Art of Parenting in Sports”
I love to pause and reflect about my daughter’s journey as she matured from the peewee leagues into the World Class Athlete she is today. It was an exciting, exhausting, expensive experience filled with road trip adventures that I cherish and games spectated during the best and worst weather conditions. There is an art to parenting in sport, and unfortunately a large number fail it. Coming in at the top of the charts for poor parenting skills in sport is – negative commentary on the sideline.
Here are a few examples that have stuck in my head; The father – “Boy you are really stinking up the place, you might as well sit down!” I mean what kind of support is that? Or how about the mother – “Don’t pass the ball! You are the only one that can score!” Gee, nothing like encouraging teamwork. Two of the worst comments I have heard were “You really embarrassed your family today” after the child was already sobbing, and “LOSING IS NOT AN OPTION!” Gosh, What is this the Battle of Bulge?
Dr. Darrell Burnett, a certified sports psychologist interviewed a pool of youth athletes and wrote an article called, “Ten Things Kids Say They Don’t Want Their Parents To Do.” http://baseball-articles.com/suggestions.html . Or check out “Kids and Sports: Do’s and Don’ts for Youth Sports Parents” by Elizabeth Quinn – http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/children/a/SportParentTips.htm
Bottom line, we have a responsibility as Parents in Sport to do what is best for our children, and it starts with realizing that we are on the side of the line that is not competing. Trust me, I understand the pressure of hoping your child fills the small percentage of athletes who receive a full ride to college, but understand that if you aren’t building up, you are only tearing down. My wife and I allowed Stefanie to flourish in Sport by walking alongside her experience rather than pushing her towards unattainable goals. Of course, the competitor in me had a ton of feedback for Stefanie after games, but I had to remind myself that the sport itself is jam-packed with life-lessons for her to learn, without my seeming “expertise” of the game. My wife and I are proud to say that at the end of our daughter’s athletic career, her memories of us will only be filled with support and encouragement.