The 10 Characteristics of a Great Youth Sports Parent
Amidst all the crazy, loud, pushy, and hovering adults are a select group of leaders minding their own business as they focus on being great youth sports parents. These parents may not get noticed much, but that doesn’t stop their efforts because recognition is not why they are working at being great. Ultimately, they're doing it for the kids and, if you take the time to look at every team, you will find those parents who are unconditionally supportive, caring, and doing their best to make youth sports a great experience for everyone. So, then, what characterizes a great youth sports parent? Here's our list of the top ten traits that make up the best parents, allies, and fans up in the stands around. These are in no particular order, but try adding these traits to your skill-set before your athlete's next competition!
Great parents keep winning in perspective
They want to win, of course, but not at the cost of integrity, safety, or the character development of each athlete.
Great parents know how to just watch the game
They are positive spectators who don’t coach their kids during the game or yell instructions to the coach on how to do his or her job.
Great parents cheer for every player
No doubt they will cheer for their own kids more boisterously, but that does not keep them from showing their support for every player.
Great parents look for ways to help
If every parent pitches in to help, it all gets done without burning out one or two of them. Even if you can only do one small job in your youth sports community, do it well and it will definitely be appreciated!
Great parents accept responsibility for their negative emotions
They don’t blame the coach, official, or opposing team for their frustration and anger.
Great parents show love to their children no matter how they perform
Very often that will require them to bite their tongues and resist the urge to critique after every game, but that's absolutely OK in some situations.
Great parents know when to let go
They’ve learned to let kids push themselves and fight their own battles.
Great parents seek to understand the coach
Instead of forming quick judgements about a coach’s actions, they show patience and ask questions that will help them grasp the why behind the what.
Great parents give their kids a life outside of sports
They don’t let family time disappear into the abyss of an active season, but a great parent will look for ways to enjoy family in the midst of the busy schedule.
Great parents focus on the end game
They aim their parenting efforts at who they want their children to be when they are grown up and well past their sports playing years. Great parents are not great because they just happen to be that way, no, it takes a serious, concentrated effort to grow and evolve alongside their athlete.
At the end of the day, they've made a choice to make youth sports about the kids, not themselves. If you're not quite there yet, but would like to be, trust us, it's a choice you can make each game and every season. Together, we can change the competitive youth sports culture and make it an enjoyable and informative atmosphere for both athletes and parents alike!