Every sports parent wants his child to be successful in sports. I doubt very few walk into the competition thinking, hmmm, I wonder what I can do today to disrupt my kid’s performance?
Unfortunately many parents do just that. Not meaning to, not intending to. But something happens to parents in the heat of competition. They tend to get a little carried away. #understatement.
These actions will NOT help your child perform better
I know you love your child and want them to succeed, but these actions will only sabotage your child’s sports performance.
1. Pace the sidelines where you child can see you. It’s just nervous energy to you; but if your child senses your anxiousness and worry, it can cause him to lose his focus. I have seen this over and over again with well meaning parents who only want to be closer to the game. But quite honestly, it only distracts your kids if they see you.
2. Hang around the dugout or behind the bench so you can coach your kid during the game. This drives coaches crazy. And again, keeps your child from focusing on his coach’s instructions and his game.
3. Chew your kid from the sidelines during the game. I’ve seen this, especially with high school players’ parents. I observed a softball dad recently stand by the outfield fence where his daughter was playing outfield, shouting directions to her, and chewing on her. Messing with your kid’s head like that during a game will more than lightly cause a downward mental spiral.
4. Instruct your child with negative “Don’t” statements. This goes along with coaching and chewing out your kid from the sidelines. Don’t strike out! Don’t drop the ball! Why even put the negative thought of failing in their head?
5. Show up at your kids’ game after you’ve been drinking. Seriously, I have seen parents do this. They usually end up embarrassing themselves and their kids.
6. Yell at the coach during the game. Any child would be distracted from doing his game if he heard his parent yelling at the coach.
7. Threaten to confront the coach after the game. If your child is worried about you confronting her coach, she will not be at her top form mentally.
8. Cause your child to play in fear of messing up. Does your child know that he or she faces a chewing out if they mess up? My husband had a player on his varsity softball team that lived in fear after a game when she made a mistake at shortstop or when she didn’t hit well. She knew Dad would let her know how displeased he was.
9. Not show up when you said you would be there. If your child is expecting you, he may look for you, not see you, wonder where you are, and not be able to totally focus on playing. It’s best to get to get the word to him that something came up. You could text or call another parent on the team who is there so relay the message.
If you see yourself in any of these actions, even just a little bit, step back and regroup. By doing so, you will give your child the freedom to play without fear, without losing focus, and without worry that Mom and Dad will not be proud.
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