Ten Things Your Athlete Does Not Need You to Tell Them


“Sometimes being a parent means you know when to keep your mouth shut…” begins Janis Meredith’s wise article.

Ms. Meredith then lists 5 things that your athlete does not need to hear from you:

  1. Your doubts.
  2. Your nervousness.
  3. Your worries about getting hurt.
  4. Your unhappiness with the coaching staff.
  5. Your frustration with teammates.

All excellent advice, and to this I would add:

  1. Your criticism about their performance.
  2. Your feelings about their performance.
  3. Your forecasting about their potential.
  4. Your anxiety about the money spent on sports.
  5. Your lamenting about whether they should even do the sport.

In short, don’t bother your athlete with your feelings and anxieties and understand that as the adult the adult choices you make are yours and yours alone, not your child’s.

Is it normal to have doubts, nerves, fears, annoyances and stress about your child’s sport?

Sure. You’re a human who loves this tiny human that is your kid.

But it is neither useful nor appropriate to place your doubts, fears, annoyances and stresses on the shoulders of your child. Talk to a partner, a friend or family member or even a therapist. Take a break from watching practices and meets if needed.

As Ms. Meredith’s article so wisely concludes: “Your kids will learn a lot of skills as they play sports. But there’s one skill that you as a sports parent need to learn: the art of biting your tongue. It will save you a lot of unnecessary conflict and tension in your home.”


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