• Positive Parental Involvement In Youth Sports | Janis B Meredith | Episode 20

  • Youth sports touches the lives of millions of children and teens every day. Being part of a team, learning new skills, and improving health are all part of the positive impact. Unfortunately, well-intentioned parents can negate that positive impact. Parental involvement in youth sports can rob teens of the learning opportunities and the fun of playing sports, and it can even contribute to burnout. Tune in as Mighty Parenting Podcast hosts Sandy Fowler and Judy Davis interview Janice Meredith to learn how we can support our kids and allow them to get the most out of their sport experiences.

    Real Talk:

    There are millions of people who are caring for aging parents at the same time they are still raising their children. They are called the Sandwich Generation because they are the filling between two sets of people who need care from them. While there is a lot of talk about how hard this can be and the impact on caregivers, Judy and Sandy take a different view of it and discuss how you can use this experience to be a better parent. They share some of their experiences and how you can use the situation to capitalize on the teaching opportunities it affords.


    A Favorite Quote From The Show

    Sports are fun, but nothing is more important than who your child becomes in the process of playing.

    High Points About Parental Involvement In Youth Sports:

    Parental Involvement In Youth SportsIf you sense your child is pulling back from sports, look for the right moment and have a conversation to find out what’s happening. Ask these coaching questions to get them to talk and find out what’s really going on—whether it’s time to move on or if there’s a problem.

    • What is it you love about your sport?
    • What makes you passionate about your sport?
    • How come you want to play?

    Parents can be frustrated that they didn’t succeed in sports or didn’t even play, they may even try to live vicariously through their child. If you wonder whether you’re that parent, try going to your child’s game without coaching them on the way. Sit in the stands and just enjoy it. If you can’t, then you might be too invested in your child’s experience and might be living vicariously through your child.

    If you’ve been overstepping your bounds, or want to make sure you don’t, just ask your child:

    • “How would you like me to behave at your game?”
    • “What would be the best way for me to support you at your game?”

    The coach needs to teach teamwork, skills, and character. The parent needs to support and encourage, and our kids just need everyone to stay in their lane.

    You may not always see eye-to-eye with the coach. That’s okay. If it’s a sport issue, strategy, playing time, position, all those things should be between the player and the coach. If it’s a matter of safety, morality, bullying, or something like that then you may need to get involved if the child cannot resolve it.

    Tryout season is hard on everyone. Don’t make it harder on your child. Pull back a little. Don’t pepper them with questions just ask one of these:

    • “Hey, how was practice?”
    • “What was the best thing that happened at practice?”
    • “What did you learn at practice?”

    Coaches are looking for skilled players but they’re also looking for coachability, teamwork, leadership, and hustle. Those traits can get them on team even if they aren’t the most talented.

    Let your child learn from the sports experience. As parents, we say we want our kids to learn life skills but if we jump in constantly and fight all their battles then we rob them of those opportunities.

    Parents often miss the goldmine of youth sports because they’re focused on this game; the position their child is playing, how many minutes their child is playing, whether they like the coaches philosophy, and they aren’t seeing the golden opportunity for their child to learn great lessons. They’re missing the value of what’s right in front of them. Just ask yourself: “What do I want my child to learn in this situation and how can I help them learn it?”

    It’s important that all parental involvement in youth sports ends in a positive experience for your child.

    Meet Our Guest:

    Janis B. Meredith is a parenting coach, international blogger, and book author who focuses on providing resources to help parents raise champions. She and her husband, Ted, have raised three kids who played sports from age 4 through college, and are now engaged in successful careers. She is passionate about helping parents as they strive to raise their children as champions.

    More from our Guest:

    To learn more or connect with our guest, visit jbmthinks.com