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Children quit organized sports at an alarming rate. Research shows that approximately 70-75% of children will quit playing a sport by the age of 14. One of the main reasons is because of the negative experience they have and the pressure placed on them by their parents during competition.

Most children all want to compete, but they have their own interpretation of competitiveness and unfortunately a lot of parents don’t take the time to understand how to develop and make sports a rewarding experience for their kids.

The following are signs parents should observe that will help them to know if they are putting excessive pressure on their kids during sports.

  • The child is constantly upset and arguments occur when parents discuss their play.
  • A child will not practice when parents are present or leaves practice mad at their parent.
  • The child argues with parents and coaches during a game.
  • A child has a bad attitude with other teammates.
  • The child tells their parent they no longer want to play and complain about going to practice and games.

If parents are too involved and overbearing they’re not only hurting their child, they can ruin the coach’s experience and the team’s success. Pushy parents can divide a team and turn your sport into a dropout statistic.

To help avoid this and reduce the staggering dropout rate in children athletes all parents and coaches should take the time to remember a few things:

  • When coaching or critiquing a child’s performance, start with a positive comment. Then constructively explain how the child can do better and then finish with another positive comment.
  • Never criticize or empresses your child in front of friends or teammates.
  • Keep your child’s “Emotional Tanks” full. A person’s “Emotional Tank” is like a car’s gas tank. When it’s full we can go anywhere we want to; when it’s empty we can’t go at all.
  • Never argue, raise your voice or criticize another player, parent, coach or referee in front of a child. This not only teaches the child the wrong way to communicate with people, the negativity could push them out of sports all together.

There are plenty of online sports websites that help parents and coaches become positive role models for their kids. A few recommended sites are:

http://www.positivecoach.org/

http://www.positivesportcoaching.org/

http://www.competitivedge.com/questionnaire_athletes2.htm