Archive for December 19, 2008

Sports Parenting 101- Children Learn What They Live

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 by mboyle1959

A child allowed to quit learns to quit.

This might have been the best sporting lesson I ever learned. My father taught me one simple lesson. If you start, you finish. You never leave the coach in a lurch and you never leave your teammates in a lurch. Unfortunately in this day and age parents do the quitting for the kids, “in their best interest”. Quitting “in their best interest” is still quitting. Is leaving a school or team because you aren’t playing quitting? Is leaving a school or team because you aren’t playing enough, or in the right situations, still quitting? The answer to all of the above is still yes. Many parents will hide under the academic skirt but, this is true in a few cases and a better sounding excuse for changing schools in most.

Why are kids becoming spoiled and self-centered. Because we as parents make them that way. Any time a young athlete is allowed or even encouraged to leave a situation that is less than favorable either due to playing time or coaching, they are being allowed to quit. We can package quitting up any way we want but, we are still allowing them to quit.

Here is the lesson in a nutshell.

“ If you don’t get what you want, forget perseverance, leave and go somewhere else”

What a great life lesson to teach a young person. We will literally teach that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” Unfortunately, they usually go somewhere else.

Parents love to try to hide behind the semantics but, the truth does not change. If we want our children to be hard working and display desire and determination we must teach them about perseverance, not about rationalization.

The placement of adult values into the lives of young people is the greatest threat to youth sports. Think about this for a moment. Instead of giving your child every opportunity you never had as a child, think about giving them the values that your parents and coaches instilled in you that have made you successful. Success skips a generation for a reason. It skips because we don’t teach values. Don’t live vicariously. Instead, work diligently to instill values.

One clue. If you ever said “we” when referring to what your child is going to do, you may be on your way to a problem. Try to remember that the purpose of sport is to teach kids about values. Unfortunately oftentimes we do teach values, just the wrong ones.