Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Angels Among Athletes...Sideline Parent Support or Not?

My daughter's high school soccer journey ended last night with a team banquet.  I'm quiet on the sidelines, but I chose the elegant banquet setting to finally shout out loud my 'soccer mom' sentiments.  I am always proud of her, but I chose that setting for a few reasons.

1.  I was overwhelmed with pride in her accomplishments.
2.  She could hear me.
3.  She wasn't playing, and I wouldn't effect her game.

She heard me (as did everyone else), she made eye contact, and smiled.

Do you have an athlete?  A dancer?  Are you a stage parent?  What kind of sideline support are you?  I watch kids on the field, rink, and court (all 3 of my children are amazing athletes) and I will see a child look to the side for approval, coaching advice, or maybe just to see if anyone is watching.  I often hear a variety of choice words from parents for players, coaches, and referees.  Are you supporting the efforts of the team and/or coach with your actions?  Think about the following:

1.  Children want to do their best usually.  I'm sure they are in most moments.  A coach once said to me...they (children) do not wake up and say "I want to go on the field, and play horrible and really disappoint my parents and coach today".  I'm sure that is true.  I have a hunch coaches and referees want to limit their negative encounters with parents as well.

2.  Imagine if you had a mirror in front of your face during a game.  How would it look? Pleasant?  Overly critical?  Crazy competitive?  I hope it is simply full of joy.

3.  Let your child play the game that is his/her game.  Not the one that YOU played or wish you had played.

4.  Let your child play the game that his/her coach wants to play.  Even if you disagree with the coach.  Demonstrate respect for differing opinions.

5.  Cheer.  Be positive.  And allow for your child to hear directions from his/her coach/teacher/leader.  So much side line commentary can be confusing.

6.  Children are  hard enough on themselves when a performance lacks.  Offer support by asking questions, when ready.  "I see you are upset about today's game.  Can I help?"  This will give them  an opportunity to open up a discussion about their game.

Let them play.  Such a key word there.  PLAY.  Here's a link to the Positive Coaching Alliance with some wonderful tools for parents.  Make sports fun not only for your children, but for you as well!  And...if you get caught by 'that' parent...pick up your chair and move. :)

Positive Coaching Alliance - Tools for Parents

Keep it and enjoy the game!  ♥D

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