In fact, we are often in such control mode that when it comes time to signing our kids up for youth sports, we carry that control mentality with us into the competitive arena.
The only problem is, in youth sports there are a lot of things we simply cannot control.
It took me a few years of being a sports parent to realize one very important fact about youth sports: there are some things that you simply cannot change about your child’s game.
You can’t change:
- the refs’ minds
- the score
- the way the coach subs in players
- the mistakes players make
- the cheap shots
- the bad attitude of the opposing team
However, even with all the intangibles in youth sports that leave you feeling helpless and frustrated, there are some things you can change about your child’s game.
You can change:
- what your child hears from you during the game (are you embarrassing him?)
- how you interact with other parents at the game (do you clump into “sympathy groups” and chew up the refs, coach or other players?)
- how you treat the refs, coaches and other players. Maybe I shouldn’t have called the ref a blind idiot. (How is it, by the way, that we are so comfortable saying things to a person from 50 feet away that we would never say to his face?)
- what you say to your child after the game during the car ride home
If you are guilty of going ballistic at your child’s game, you’re not alone. We’ve all either done it or been very tempted to do it.
Here’s the deal: as sports parents, you must recognize that there are things you can change about your kids’ sports and things you cannot change.
Adopting the serenity prayer as your own will help keep you serene, and sane, during games.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Janis B. Meredith writes a sportsparenting blog, http://jbmthinks.com. She’s been a sports mom for 20 years, and a coach’s wife for 28, and sees life from both sides of the bench. You can also follow her on facebook and twitter.