52 year-old man punches eighth grade son in face for losing at basketball (2011). A 44 year-old truck driver was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for beating another man to death at their sons' hockey practice (2002).
Parent body-slammed a referee… Parent charged with aggravated assault… Referee hit in the head… Parent head-butted an official….
This is for me…not my mom. She had her chance. They are so annoying. Dad is so embarrassing when he yells at the ref…and he’s wrong. I don’t even want to go out there. I hate the ride home after games.
What is the hardest part of being a sport parent?
All parents love their children. All parents want the best life for their children. All parents want their children to be successful. Stacy Sykora, former Olympian and Flatirons clinician….yeah!
Parents and coaches have different roles in the “raising” of children. Each child is different. Each parent is different. Each family is different. For each sport experience, it is important to set goals to measure success.
Why is it difficult to be objective about our own kids?
Hard work can lead to something Commitment is important Communication is essential Lessons come from failure Honoring the game
Sports teach life lessons in a “safe” environment. This is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Finish this sentence with as many indicators as you feel you need. At the end of the season, I (as a parent) will see it as a success if……
Outcome based? ◦ Will win x amount of games / trophies / scholarships? ◦ Pay for college with this? Process based? ◦ Learn life skills? ◦ Base athletic skills? ◦ Have fun?
How might your student-athlete complete the same sentence? At the end of the season, I (as a student-athlete) will see it as a success if……
Why do you think kids play sports?
1. To have fun. 2. To do something I’m good at. 3. To be with and make friends. 4. To get fit and stay in shape. 5. To improve my skills and learn new ones. 6. To be part of a team and learn teamwork.
Are there discrepancies? How you manage those gaps will define how you parent an athlete.
Opportunity Unconditional support Teachers for the long term
Sole source of motivation Coaches ◦ Volleyball is a game of mistakes; let the coaches correct and instruct.
84% - less parental interaction than in past 71% - “helpfulness” crosses into intrusiveness ◦ Favor seeking ◦ Overly protective ◦ Adversarial parents
Club’s working philosophy 1) Prepare athletes to play their best. 2) Teach life skills.
When we were in school, if something was wrong, it was you. You were wrong. Now, the parents come back at us (teachers). When we started teaching, that just didn’t happen. You were considered professional, and if my opinion about your paper was this, that was accepted because I’m the teacher and I’m the professional. And now everything is second-guessed
Many teachers, especially those in more affluent communities, believe they are treated no better than a customer-service representative at a store. They are selling a product, and the parents are paying customers. When the parents aren’t happy, they complain. Their children watch and learn (Simmons 86).
Short-term success Long-term failure
Provide opportunity – guilt free Provide a safe place to express feelings – judgment free Cheer for them – all the time Let them learn
Experience for themselves ◦ Winning, losing, failing, rebounding Speak for themselves ◦ To teammates ◦ To coaches ◦ To you! Conversations are opportunities for GAIN, not LOSS
“You’re playing poorly” Males: look around and assume you are talking about SOMEONE else Females: Assume the coach is talking about THEM in specific (Dorrance, 1996)
Apply friendship rules to coaches and teachers See constructive criticism as negative criticism Coach: Feedback isn’t direct, immediate Not as helpful Less honest picture of self / skills When do we become honest – “real job”?
Playing time decisions are at the discretion of the coaching staff. We do not guarantee any set amount of playing time for athletes.
If the ATHLETE has a concern ◦ Address that to the coach ◦ Listen to an implement the agreed-upon plan If a PARENT has a concern ◦ Address that to Susan, Chris, or Eric ◦ Please do not address this issue with the coach ◦ You cannot un-ring that bell!
Is there a life lesson the athlete can learn on HER OWN? Let HER talk. Help your athlete prepare for the conversation ◦ Organize her thoughts ◦ Give her sentence starters ◦ Role play the conversation.
Wait 24 hours after tournaments Have athlete make an appointment ◦ Away from practice / games Pinpoint what is bothering the athlete Listen objectively Implement improvement plan
Today On-going ◦ Mediate meetings at all levels ◦ Non-team affiliated counselor ◦ Work with athletes on Monday for leadership training. ◦ ◦
This is just a game Kids should be having fun – even up to that 18s age level! Cheer and love them like mad!!!