20 Things that Mean the World to Your Athlete

Kids often forget to say thank you, especially to their parents, who as you well know, sacrifice a lot for their kids to play sports.

But whether or not your kids say thanks, rest assured there are things you are doing that mean the world to them, even if they don’t realize it right now. My kids, now in their 20s, told me these things really mattered to them when they were young: 

  1. Time sacrifice. This includes driving them to games, practices, tournaments, etc.
  2. Money sacrifice. For travel teams, equipment, personal coaching and camps.
  3. Game presence. Being there for as many games as possible.
  4. The willingness to listen … without judgement or interruption.
  5. Being a positive spectator.
  6. Not hounding the officials or coaches.
  7. Letting a child choose the sports he/she wants to play.
  8. Loving the athlete no matter how well he/she plays.
  9. Cheering for every player on the team.
  10. Giving a child permission to make mistakes and encouraging him/her to learn from them.
  11. Not using comparison as a motivating tactic.
  12. Letting them have a life outside of sports.
  13. Biting your tongue instead of saying something hurtful or negative.
  14. Giving him/her space to get over losses.
  15. Giving him/her space to push himself/herself.
  16. Letting the coach do his job.
  17. Giving a child permission to have fun!
  18. Letting a child follow his/her own path, and not forcing them to take mom or dad’s.
  19. Being a child’s biggest cheerleader, no matter how he/she plays.
  20. Not critiquing in the car after a game.

When kids are little, they may have a hard time articulating what they feel about how much you do. As they grow older, they often forget to say what they felt because they are wrapped up in themselves. That’s just how it goes with kids. But believe me, they are grateful for what you do, even if they don’t express it!

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