Is worry-free sports parenting even possible? I believe you can come pretty darn close and I will tell you why.
There’s a ton of stuff in youth sports to fret about: will my child make the team? will he get much playing time? will he start? will he have fun? will he get hurt? will the coach like him? will he get along with his teammates? will he get a scholarship?
As a sports mom for 21 years, I spent a lot of time fighting worry. Sometimes I succeeded; sometimes I didn’t.
Any physician can tell you that a fit of fretting is more harmful to your system than a fever and that a personality of constant fretting is not conducive to a healthy body.
Did you know that one of the definitions of fret is to cause corrosion; gnaw into something? When you fret, you are causing corrosion to yourself and to others. When you fret all the time, you “rub” others the wrong way, causing emotional and mental corrosion.
Isn’t it true that an irritable, irrational, and critical person not only wears himself out by is also very draining and tiring to others? When we worry and fret, we are annoying to others.
What Can Keep You from Worry?
If you are a born worry-er like me, you may always fight the fretting. But here’s the weapons that have given me the best success in the battle against worry:
- Concentrate on the Big Picture. Through all the experiences your child has in sports, all the awards, minutes played, points scored–the most important thing to come out of your child’s youth sports experience is who he becomes in the process. Write that down and post it where you can be reminded every day that there is much more to your child’s character growth than whether or not he is the star of the team.
- Find a way to vent. Perhaps it will be to a close friend, or to your journal, or to God, or to your spouse, or just to yourself. Voice your worries, and when you do, mentally picture yourself letting them go. Because you and I both know that they are not doing anyone a lick of good.
- Accept that fretting is futile. You can worry through a restless night of sleep, you can worry yourself to the point of having diahrea before your child’s game, you can worry so much that you can’t wait until the season ends–and not one minute of that fretting accomplishes anything. Fretting is such a waste of time. I spent way too much time doing it when my kids played sports and not one second of that worrying accomplished anything and it did absolutely nothing to help my kids play better.
Here’s the truth when it comes to worrying about your kids: they don’t need your worry. Fretting can be corrosive to your kids too. What they need is your support and unconditional love. They need to know that you believe in them, that you are there to help if they ask, that you will love them, no matter how they perform. And they need to hear you SAY it.
Remembering these truths–and living by them–can give you worry-free sports parenting.
And as always, I am here to help you on the journey!
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