I was listening to a webinar from “Growing Champions for Life” sports parenting expert David Benzel and he went through a list of nine of the worst sports parenting mistakes. It was during a talk about whether to push our kids in sports–or not.
Who is David Benzel? He’s a former sports parent himself, whose kids were athletic, loved their sports and made it to the pros—as he says—in spite of him. He felt like kids were coached in sports, but felt he was sorely lacking in knowledge about being a sports parent. He said that he and his wife changed throughout the years and now he coaches sports parents in many different sports including gymnasts, tennis, baseball and swimming.
I discovered Benzel on USA Swimming and have read his book from Chump to Champ, plus I have several copies of his little booklet “5 Powerful Strategies for Sport Parent Success” lying around the house in case I need a refresher.
I too changed through the years as I learned from my swim mom mistakes. I continued to grow as a parent, and looking back there are many things I’d never dream of doing today that I thought were perfectly normal years ago.
The list of 9 awful things sports parents do that Benzel presented was from the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University.
Here’s the list:
Exhibit an outcome orientation.
Are critical, negative and overbearing.
Apply pressure to win or perform.
Make sports too serious.
Are over-involved and controlling.
Compare child to other athletes.
Distract child during competitions.
Restrict player’s social life.
Too much sports talk.
Between me and my hubby, I think we’ve got this list covered. We’ve been guilty of every single one on the list.
How many on this list have you done? What are things you’ve done in the past as a parent that you wouldn’t do now?