This past weekend I gained a much better appreciation for what my son experiences when he plays youth sports. His team was playing in his little league baseball playoffs. We were playing from the loser's bracket after losing our first game, then winning our next two games.
We ended up losing our game this weekend, and I take the blame (I wrote about it in more detail here). We lost because I didn't perform well as the coach-pitcher. I couldn't throw strikes to save my life. Maybe the pressure got to me, or maybe I just had a bad game, I don't know.
I do know I felt that loss just like my son and his teammates felt that loss. And it forced me to view the game from their perspective. I've played years of baseball through high school and years of basketball through college. I've won championships, and been there, done that.
A change in perspective
Now that I'm a sports parent some of those emotions and challenges have escaped my memory. But this weekend brought it all back. And let me know the importance of viewing youth sports from the kids' perspective. This is their first time in many situations, they are new to winning and to losing, and to having the pressure to perform. Sometimes I forget what it's like at that young age.
You might be the same way too. If so, I encourage you to remember to view youth sports from your kids' perspective. Remember this is a BIG deal to them. And they need your help, your teaching, and sometimes your consoling through it all. Here is a video to help you keep that in perspective.
How can you better understand what your kids are dealing with when playing youth sports?
Jackie Bledsoe is a sports parent of three, and writes on sports parenting. He has played sports for over 30 years, including the collegiate level, and coached youth sports for the past eight years.