This may seem harsh as all parents never set out to fail or harm their children, but i see this happen more often than not, I see this at preschool level and at high school level. when parents focus more on winning than development, when they play the victim card or cry “injustice” instead of using these negative incidents to bring about character enhancement, or coach emotional intelligence.
let me use some real life examples to best illustrate this vital point:
- The coach doesn’t give you enough opportunity to bat higher up in the order.
- The umpire makes a shocking call, and you need to walk off the field.
- Teammates talking negatively about your skills
This happens, at all ages in all sports. now the worst thing you can do is “step in” as a parent and demand justice. this type of behaviour often embarrasses your child instead of lifting them up. secondly they learn that mom or dad will solve my problems for me. third, children are never forced to dig deep and ask why this happens, or what do i need to do to change it.
Now there is still another parent that may lose their temper over their child’s performance, which heeps huge amount of pressure on the athlete. i have had countless observations where i notice that certain players don’t perform when parent is watching. after tracking these somewhat bizarre findings, i would start asking my players personally and individually and more often than not, they preferred not having a particular or both parents there watching the game. now think about how shocking this is. when approaching these parents about it, they were often left stumped and had no idea on the affect. children receiving to much praise/encouragement also felt the pressure.
The parents that have the most to say off the field are the parents prioritising winning or performance over development and learning, and those are the children that may be most negatively affected in the long run.
To give real life application to the examples listed above:
- maybe through self reflection your child isn’t as good as you assume, or their work ethic isn’t that impressive. in this case, spend more time improving, or encouraging your child to ask their coach in particular where he/she needs to improve to get more opportunity is a much better solution
- in life this happens, use it to teach real life application, use questions to coach your youngster to remain calm and think about how they will bounce back. there can even be deliberate strategy to prevent bad calls like that in the future.
- people also have negative things to say about other people, but in life i have seen successful people don’t talk with their mouths, but rather through their actions. some players even use unfair criticism to fuel their desire and intensity at training and goal setting.
In all circumstances use sport and situations to build character, to encourage an attitude to learn from mistakes, improve and increase developmentally, intensify training sessions, to spent more time perfecting their craft. the thinking athletes will always be better off.
This attitude and approach builds more trust between coach or parent, builds analytical thinking and self reflection attributes both on and off the field.
In this way, you get a better person and a better athlete.