There is a sign in the spectator area of the Coon Rapids Ice Center in the suburbs of Minneapolis that states the following:
- These are kids.
- This is a game.
- Parents should cheer for everyone.
- The referees are human.
- You and your child do not play for the Minnesota Wild.
Committing these five facts to memory will make you a winning parent. Let us break it down for you:
- These are kids. Young athletes find joy in sport because they have fun. Well over half will burn out when they hit their teens because that fun stops for a multitude of reasons. Recognize signs of burnout (like making excuses to avoid practice or not showing excitement on the way to a competition), and evaluate what may be taking the fun out of it for your child.
- This is a game. Perspective is vital for you as you parent, and your child as they play. Remember sport is a great way for kids to learn, grow and experience real life emotions in a controlled and safe environment. Be patient as they navigate their limits through the highs and lows. Your job is to smile and be proud regardless of the results.
- Parents should cheer for everyone. Sometimes the opposing players are talented, make impressive plays, and are fun to watch. Let yourself applaud genuinely for them, too. This is a great way to teach your child to be a good sport.
- The referees are human. No official has ever reversed a call because a parent shouted, used vulgar language, or heckled relentlessly. The referees are allowed to make mistakes because they are human beings; it is part of the game. Let the coach (or players if and when appropriate) handle all communication with officials. Be a role model.
- Your child is not a professional athlete, and (most of the time) neither are you. Should the terms “scholarship” or “professional” every pop into your imagination or heaven forbid your vocabulary you can go ahead and replace them with “fun” and “learning experience.” Let your kid dream big while you do a quick internet search of the likelihood of a scholarship acquisition or a professional career. While they dream, remind yourself less than 1% will have a chance at either.
For many more tips to guide you as a sport parent, check out the infographic!
Published with permission from believeperformshop.com