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How to be a good sports parent
Being a sports parent is much more than simply dropping off your child at practice, then picking them up a few hours later. Being a sports parent requires support, motivation and above all else participation to help your young athlete thrive and most importantly truly love the sport they are playing.
Here are a few tips we tried to practice while helping our young basketball and baseball children through the grind of sports, practice and training.
The right amount of support could mean the wold to your child and help keep them motivated through the tough times when they're not feeling up to play or practice. A positive and reassuring hand will help your child through any moments of let down or bad games, all of which are bound to happen.
There can also be a wrong type of support though. Excessive criticism and pointing out poor performance can have a very negative affect on your child's confidence and desire to play the game. If all your child gets from you is negativity or criticism, the love of a sport can quickly diminish.
Your child will look to you for their main point of feedback and reassurance. Not all feedback needs to be filled with rainbows and sunshine though. Here's the thing though, you need to know what you're talking about!
Chances are your child will know a lot about their sport, so understanding the sport will lead a long way to them listening to your opinion down the road.
Few memories are a special to a child as when their parent carves a half hour or so out of their busy schedule to toss the ball around with them. Helping your child work on their weak spots in their game will mean the world to them.
Getting out and participating with your child will be rewarding for you as well. It will help you understand that these sports really aren't easy, and will give you a small amount of appreciation on what your child goes through during practice and games. Spoiler...it Isn't easy!
Have Self Control
We all want our kid to shine, but yelling and hollering from the stands won't help much. Regardless if you shouting at your child to do better, the coach to give them more playing time or the referee that missed the big call, the likely outcome is your child will be embarrassed and dread hitting the field or court.
Instead, focus on watching and truly enjoying your child play. They won't be playing youth sports forever, so treasure the time that they have on the field and you in the stands watching them play for no other reason that the love of the game.
Another recommendation is to record their game with a mobile phone or tablet. You can easily publish these videos to YouTube with an unlisted link, so only friends and family can view. When recording, there's nothing worse than a shaky and unsteady camera. We really recommend the DJI OM 4 Gimbal. This gimbal is very easy to use, as well as buttery smooth when recording in "tilt lock" mode.
Another great reason to record your child's games is they will have a great way to view themselves playing later on when they are adults and feeling nostalgic.