Helping the Athlete Who Plays in the Spotlight

By Janis Meredith

The spotlight is not an easy place to be.

Living in the spotlight can be fun, but it is also not an easy place to be. It is usually accompanied by the pressure to live up to expectations. If your child is blessed to be a stand-out and finds himself attracting extra attention, what can you do to help him handle it in a healthy way?


  • Rejoice in your child’s success. Of course, this is a no-brainer. You should always be your child’s biggest fan.


  • Make it special. If you want to reward him, focus on rewarding him with special events or outings that include you spending time with him – not just giving him things.


  • Find a balance in your bragging. As parents, we love to brag on our kids and to a certain degree, I think we should. But if all you do is brag, brag, brag about your child’s accomplishments, two things will happen: people will get sick of hearing about it and your child will begin to feel like your approval and praise are dependent on his performance.


  • Don’t let success change his everyday life. Let him come down from the high, back down to earth, with the realization that he still has chores, homework, and practices to do. Living in the spotlight does not mean he gets out of his responsibilities.


  • Help him remember that he didn’t do it alone. If he is a team sport player, he needs the team. If he is an individual sports player, he needs his trainer and coach. If he is the star of the band, he needs his instrumentalists and backup singers. No one experiences success in a vacuum and helping your child realize this will keep him humble and appreciative of those around him.


Living in the spotlight: Don’t feed the beast

The important thing to remember is this: if your child is living in the spotlight, be sure that you are not nurturing an entitled attitude in him. You encourage a privileged mindset when you focus on the successes and achievements of your child, rather than on him or her as a person.

One look at certain child stars shows you just how dangerous it is to feed  the beast of entitlement.


This article, written by Janis Meredith, a sports parenting blogger, podcaster and parent coach, originally appeared on USA  Click here to read the full article, or go to the USA Football website.