27 Ways to be an Awesome Youth Sports Parent
by Jessy Satti
Pakmen 18u Gold head coach
I recently came across a great article, “27 Ways to be an Awesome Youth Sports Parent”. This article outlines 27 things that you can do or in some cases, should not do, to make your child’s youth sport experience a better one. It’s a collection of many of the negative things we’ve all seen as coaches, players or being a parent on the sidelines. Actions like stomping feet, yelling at referees, being negative towards coaches are becoming all too common in youth sports. And it seems that when one parent starts, it causes a ripple effect with others.
The article compares two types of parents: First, the overly competitive parent who cares about winning and misses the bigger picture of what’s important in youth sports. Second, the parents who happily sits and enjoys watching their child play, simply to enjoy the excitement of their kid without worrying about the score.
The conclusion is that the second type of parent “are the parents we need more of”.
There are 27 ways listed in the article to be a better youth sports parent, I’m going to list the 3 that resonated the most and that I see on a regular basis.
- Remember that winning isn’t important- so much emphasis gets put on winning or if the coach is putting on the starting line up. If they lose it’s because of the coach. Parents need to understand that if winning is the only thing they care about in youth sports is will have a negative impact on their child’s enjoyment of the sport.
- Let the coach do the coaching- As coaches we understand that the “car ride home” is the most dangerous time for an athlete. That’s when parents start to coach and breakdown every little detail especially if the athlete doesn’t ask for it. Not only in the car ride home, but also parents coaching from the sidelines. It has a negative impact on the athlete’s performance during tournaments. “If you’re not willing to coach the team for the entire season, stick to encouraging them from the sidelines, not coaching.”
- Display good body language at games- especially with young athletes who tend to look at their parents after every mistake, it’s important not to show any frustrations as it shows the athlete that they are doing something wrong. They should be encouraged to take risks in youth sports, and that comes with mistakes but every time a parent throws their hands in the air or paces back and forth it makes the athlete afraid to make mistakes.
To read this article in its entirety, please go here https://www.basketballforcoaches.com/youth-sports-parent/