*photo courtesy of stockfreephoto.com
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So my oldest son, ColeTrain, has been playing sports for umpteen years now.
He plays football (or he did…he just broke his foot), basketball and baseball.
I have been to hundreds of games.
I’ve made a fool out of myself too many times to count. (I use to be one of THOSE sports parents)
I’ve seen thousands of hand offs, strike outs and free throws.
I’ve seen a handful of parents do some humiliating, embarrassing, controlling, jacked up, freaked out stupid crap!
Can I get an Amen??
So last year I was at one of Cole’s football games and this dad was literally yelling at his son. I’m thinking to myself “bro…you gotta shut up and let your son play!”
Not only was the dad yelling, but he was also…
- Giving “the eyeballs stare down from hell”
- Coaching from the sidelines (literally screaming out plays)
- Arguing with the refs
- Threatening another parent in the stands
- His wife got up and left and he screamed out at her in front of all her friends (this is when I wanted to kick him in his Mr. Ed teeth)
I mean this was the craziest behavior I have ever seen from a sports parent.
So as the game went on I noticed that after every play the son made, the son would pause and look up at his dad.
This isn’t the only time I have seen this.
I remember in one of Cole’s basketball leagues a friend of his would look up in the stands and find his dad after every single move, step and play.
So, Mom & Dad…
If your kids are looking in the stands for you after a play, they (IN MOST CASES) are looking at you because they are afraid that you will disapprove of their performance, will yell at them for screwing up and that your love for them is dependent on how well they play.
Get a clue.
It’s just a game.
Your kids are walking in fear.
You’re making them walk on egg shells.
They feel like they have to “earn” your approval.
HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO REVERSE THE SPORT PARENT CURSE:
- Support your kiddos in and out of the sports arena.
- Show your son “unconditional love” if he wins or loses.
- Ask yourself how you can serve the coach and make his life easier NOT more difficult.
- Commit to saying NO to gossip…never talk down to other parents (or your child) about the coach or other players.
- Give your spouse permission to tell you to shut-up!
Do you struggle with being a coachy, aggressive, loud, controlling, sports parent? If so, which one of the five action points do you need to act on today?