The 5 Top Things Sport Parents Do that Can Make their Kids Drop Out of Sport
Parents have a huge impact on how their child or children feel about sports. It’s not easy being a parent to a sports child, as we only want the best for them. Sometimes emotions can take over as well as crossing the line between coach and parent roles.
Here are 5 things parents do that can make kids dislike sport.
1. Force them to play a particular sport
A lot of parents want their kids to play a certain sport simply because they like it. I’ve seen little girls pushed into playing soccer and hating every minute of it, just because dad loves the game. Hopefully your child will love sports as much as you did, but it’s important to remember that your child is their own person and not a chance to relive your glory years. You might have been a great soccer player in your day, but maybe your son (or daughter) would rather play tennis or something else. It’s hard to love sports when you have to play one you hate because mom and dad said so. Don’t force them into a sport they don’t like. If your child clearly loves one sport over another, then just let them play!
2. Talking about it all the time
Some parents just don’t know when to switch off. They will be talking about what their child should’ve done in their match in the car, at the store and at the dinner table that night. One important aspect about a child playing sport is that there is a healthy balance of other activities to talk about too. The child should have different hobbies and interests (just like the parents) to talk about. Find a balance, but also find the ‘off’ switch now and then. Your kid doesn’t need to hear about it all the time, believe it or not,they actually do get it!
3. Embarrassing the kid from the sidelines
No kid on the field or court wants their mom or dad to be “that” sports parent. You know the one — the one who coaches from the sidelines, yells at the officials or opposing team, gets into arguments with other sports parents and so forth. Most kids who play sports have put enough pressure on themselves already, you don’t need to be adding fuel to the fire by telling your son he’s throwing like a girl or moaning and groaning about how your daughter missed an easy volley or backhand.
4. The way you praise and support them
There’s too much and then there’s too little. Some kids may not mind, but most kids want the approval of their parents and want to make you proud of them. Seeing a smiling face in the stands can make all the difference for a youth athlete.
A kid doesn’t want to look across at their parents to see disapproval to a bad shot or mistake, that does not help anyone.
Also, the way you praise plays a huge influence their future. Make sure you have a growth mindset approach. Praise their effort, not the reward or result. A good balance is needed.
5. Comparing their kid to others
Like we just said, most kids want their parents to be proud of them. You may not even realize that you’re doing it but make sure you aren’t comparing your child to their teammates too often because it can start to eat away at their self-confidence. Comments like “You need to be like Paul when serving,” or “Jessica practices all the time, that’s why she’s better” might not be meant as harmful, but sometimes it can come across like you aren’t proud of your own child and what they have achieved.
Don’t compare, we are all our own unique self’s with different talents, qualities and flaws. Also, remember to compliment their effort and attitude, and not so much the result.