What Makes A Great Youth Sports Parent?
First off, let me start by saying, I am always being asked, “How do you do it?” “How do you have such patience with the kids?” “How do you put up with family watching the game all the crazy moms and dads out there?” “How do you care all the time and why do you try to make everyone happy in your BEST Youth Sports program?” I would have to say, it is because we all CARE about the kids. We all believe we make a difference in their lives. We enjoy putting a smile on the youth sports players faces and certainly we get self-satisfaction knowing we taught them a bit more each class they join us in.
Also, most parents are NOT crazy…lol. The loud ones stand out and sometimes to silent ones in class are the loudest when they get to talk to you alone, but for the most part – everything that is asked of us is because the parents CARE.
So, when asked what characterizes a great youth sports PARENT for us here at Beginners Edge Sports Training, I generated a list of top characteristics that make up the best parents for the youth in our youth sports classes, youth sports camps and youth sports clinics/privates. These are not in any specific order, but I thought this would make a good read for all the parents out there. Oh yeah, remember we are NOT a league – we teach classes to introduce and advance the skills of your kids.
Understand the program you are in.
Great parents will do research and do a trial class and will call the office and ask a lot of questions. Beginners Edge Sports Training discloses almost everything a parent can want in terms of information on our website. Do your homework! Be a part of your Youth Sports player outside of sports. I have seen parents put their youth sports player in session after session. We love seeing the parents there but we encourage family time outside of sports as well and love learning about the other things that make your kids so well rounded.
Get to know your Coach.
Your Coach will have your child’s best interest in mind. Please understand that your Coach has kids of different abilities in the class and they need to try to do their best to make sure everyone is participating, learning and enjoying themselves. If you have a specific wants or needs for your child, your COACH is best to assist in making that happen.
Cheer for all the players not just your own.
This demonstrates teamwork and comradery, and who knows, your enthusiasm for someone else’s kid may in fact turn into a reciprocated gesture of gratitude for your player.
Watch and observe then discuss.
There are parents who have a tendency to jump into the middle of class to provide instruction to the Coach to explain to them how they can do something different for their child. All we ask, no matter what program you are in is, come early or stay after to have these discussions as we have limited time in the class to take away from active participation of the group. We have had many Parents become Coaches and when the show is on the other foot they see how challenging running a class is.
Look for ways to help.
There are many programs out there that do not ask parents to assist. Well, in fact there are many times parents do not want to participate. At B.E.S.T., our Coaches will NEVER say no to having you assist. Talk to the Coach before class and ask them if you can join in. Why not it is fun, just as long as you allow our Coach to TEACH and you ASSIST. We feel that the more assistants we have the more repetitions and the more participation
Let kids evolve.
As parents it is easy to lay blame on the program or the Coaches for children not progressing in comparison to others. Many times it is the child that needs time to evolve into the program, into the situation, into having the ability to co-exist with other players as skilled, more skilled and not as skilled as they are. Each child is different – DO NOT COMPARE! Encourage your player to enjoy themselves and TRY, to not give up, to not worry about how fast or slow they are. Class time is time for them to TRY new things and learn without PRESSURE.
Encourage your child to compete against themselves.
The goal of playing sports and going to classes is to challenge oneself and continually improve. B.E.S.T. does not judge improvement by winning and losing as that is both an unfair and inaccurate measure. Yes, we do scrimmage BUT we try to make sure the score is tied since we are teaching the skills. When there is a tie, we just happen to run out of time…lol.
Your player will win in sports when they are doing the best they can and you as a parent can encourage your child to separate them from the outcome(win/lose) by praising when they try hard and improve. Learning is to allow your youth sports player to compete against their own potential so they can continually improve.
Lastly, do not be the Coach, be a Parent.
In my experience, trying to Coach your own kid is a nightmare. For an odd reason, most young youth sports players will listen better to a Coach than to a Parent Coach. Keep yourself separated. Help out in class but allow your player to be Coached by the Coach. If you go to play ball with them, play with them, try to avoid teaching teaching teaching. Your kid wants to play with you not be told how to do it better, or different etc. This is the Coaches job! Be a Parent.
Listen, at the end of the day, you need to make a choice, is your kid participating because you want them to or because they enjoy it. When they are super young it is hard to tell as many times Parents get their kids involved young since they love sports and they want their child to as well. At Beginners Edge sports Training, LLC, we can assist you in exposing your child to multiple sports, multiple experiences with Coaches and multiple different venues to see what works best for them. Just remember, every experience, no matter what Coach, sports, program, facility is an experience that your child will learn from. Be a part of that experience, facilitate a good experience and enjoy your child’s love for sports.