Accept that your athlete may want to try other activities and for them to know it's OK.


If you are a parent out there who demands your child play the sport YOU have decideded they should play then you may want to consider stop reading. 

Time and again our society and the parenting out there are trying to group kids into sports that either they are not interested in, or that may not fit their personality. 

If this is the case, why are so many parents pushing their children far beyond the capacity of the child?  Emotional scars last quite a long time, but yet the parent still demands the child to play a certain sport because the parent has unreal delusional expectations that athlete is going to go all the way.  Or even worse, the parent feels that he/ she played a certain sport so their child must be good at that sport and must play it.

How often have we seen a child who excels in other activities be made to give them up all for the parental glory of the game? The number of youth sports and additional activities that are available now far exceed that of when I was young.

Or, was it that they did exsist then but the focus was on just one sport instead of creating a well-rounded person?  Too many ego-driven parents are not allowing the kids today to be expressive in activities such as band, or theater because the parent can not allow the almighty ego of theirs to be brusied by the child not competing in a sport. 

True competition in any way of life is healthy, but when an athlete no longer has the drive and personal commitment to suceed it does not matter how many training sessions or club sports you throw him in.

Too often parents can not take themselves out of the equation and truly communicate with a child what it is the child wants out of the years that form them.  If your child does not want to play say soccer or football anymore but wants to join band and choir what does it really matter to you? 

So many kids today have such high expectaions placed upon them by overbearing parents that they shut down and no longer express themselves in appropriate ways.  Please parents, do not come back with the "I know what's good for my child at all times" comment because you are not that child!  Sure you can guide them with your ideas, but do not answer for them or twist the words as to get the response you are looking for.

The point I am trying to make here is one that adolecent and middle school children should try many sports and activities that interest them and allow them the emotional safety to tell you they may not like certain ones you feel are necessary. 

You should also listen to your athlete and not just sign them up for every available option for them to improve at the current sport just because you feel it has value.  Accept the notion that your sport will not be their sport. Accept each child and the activities he excels in with gratitude. 

If you don't, he can become resentful of his time being filled with an unfulfilling activity.  Try different sports and different activities because, remember, not everyone is the same and not every child is you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Marco November 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Also - if you have to supplement your own verbal yelling on the sidelines for coaching then you're obviously not with the right coach to begin with.
Matt Harmon November 06, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Marco, There are so many reasons parents act this way. DSM IV shoiuld look into having a new chapter for the Athletes parents in Psychology. Or for some overbearing parents Psycho-ology. Parents just can not accept failure from their own kids and they at times will go to any length to see them become something so they can brag to the neighbors. How many times have you ran into someone and the first thing they tell you is about their kids. In regards to the child your speaking of, he will be lucky to escape soccer for something else. Lets pray his fathers behaviors do not push the athlete to unhealthy choices later in life living under the dad who wont stop talking about what he could have and should have been. Im so grateful to all the parents I get to interact with because they are truly being good examples and act in such a healthy way.
Marco November 06, 2012 at 06:20 PM
The primary reasons are parents living through their kids in one way shape or form and choosing the incorrect path - meaning club or coach/trainer. Rec sports are generally the worse because the parents know that the coach is a volunteer and more then often has no formal training or certification(s). As a result the parent(s) feel the need to supplement the lack of training that is widely apparent on the field with their own yelling - and 99% of the time they know even less then the volunteer coach. At the club level, like I said - if you have to yell at your kid you're either a lousy parent or you have the wrong coach. You'll never get the time back with your kid(s). Get them in the right programs and enjoy the time. That's it.
Matt Harmon November 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM
How about if parents act in a moral way and lead their kids and set appropriate boundaries for themselves. In no circumstance should they place themselves into the mix by living through their kids. The term I use is " its not about you". Just let the kids enjoy the precious years they have.
Marco March 04, 2014 at 05:02 PM
Not all the time. I tell my player that they are far more brave then I used to be often!


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