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Lesson 1: (A Response) Important Things Athletes Must Understand About Their Parents

  • 3 Years AGO

A few weeks ago I wrote a post from the athlete’s perspective about the impact (both negative and positive) that parents have when criticizing or “guiding” their son or daughter after a sporting event.

I asked parents to speak up about the topic and reached out to Heather Schnader to see if I could share her thoughts. Feel free to keep the dialogue going by simply replying to this post! 


As a parent, it is very difficult to navigate that fine line of when / when not to provide guidance, be it in the form of comments, critique, observations or suggestions. If our child is a serious athlete, we see how much work and passion our child invests in her sport, and how she is impacted by her performance and results. When I watch my son compete, I’m powerless over the result (beyond loudly cheering!). When things don’t go well it feels terrible not to be able to relieve his disappointment in himself, or address his bewilderment at being in a rut.


Obviously, there are parents who micromanage and who live vicariously through their child’s athleticism. However, most of us are well-intentioned and mistake “guidance”–even when it is not particularly helpful, requested or desired–as “doing something” for our child.

We want to help you in the most meaningful, impactful way possible because we love you–we just don’t always understand what form that should take or that our “help” isn’t actually helping.

Thank you for providing your perspective. I’m sure your father appreciates your honesty as he seeks to support you in the best possible way.


Thanks Heather