Ten Rules Parents of Athletes Should Follow

It’s hard enough to be a fan of a team—it’s that much harder when you have an added level of rooting interest because your son or daughter is a member of the team.

For so many reasons, it’s important for parents to monitor their emotions before, during, and after a game in which their child is playing and they are watching the stands.  Your son or daughter feeds off of your response, and how you react to what transpires in a game will affect their experience as an athlete.

This top ten list first ran in November 2013 on MomSmack.com, a website that provides advice to moms in a variety of areas for moms, and it includes great advice that all parents of athletes should follow.

1. It’s not about you, it’s about them.  Do not live your own sports dreams through your kids. It’s their turn now. Let them make their own choices, both good and bad.

2. Never talk to a coach about your child’s play time after a game. Actually you never should. You should have your kid do that. That said, if you just can’t help yourself, send an email the next day and ask for some phone time.

3. NEVER yell at referees. They are trying. How would you like it if someone came to your job and screamed at you? Not. So. Much. If you have a real issue file a grievance the next day.

4. Do NOT coach your kid from the sideline. Your job is to be a cheerleader, not a coach. If you wanted to coach, you should have volunteered.

5. It is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY you are raising a professional athlete. I promise you. Relax, let them have a good time and learn the lessons they are supposed to be learning in sports.

6. Kids should play the sport that is in season until they are in middle school. Then they can decide which one or two sports they want to play and become more focused. Cross training prevents injuries and burnout.

7. If you have nothing nice to say, sit down and be quiet. Don’t be “that” parent.

8. If you are losing your mind on the sideline of a game, it’s time to look in the mirror and figure out why. It’s not normal to care that much about sports. Put that energy into something more productive.

9. Let them fail. Forgotten equipment, not working out, not practicing at home? Let them suffer the consequences of that. It will make them better.

10. Your kids are watching you. Make them proud, not embarrassed.