Six Key Steps to Being a Great Team Member Parent
We know it takes some effort to be a supportive parent, especially when your child joins a brand-new activity or sport. If it is a competitive or travel team, it requires even more finesse.
Some tips we’ve learned at Inspire.World from fundraising parents (and coaches) to help you be involved and supportive but not overbearing (trust us, nobody wants to be that parent)!
Things to keep in mind along the way:
- Make sure your child is ready to both practice and play – get them to practice and games on time, fed, appropriately dressed, and ready to go.
- If they sign up for an activity or sport and make the team, they should be committed for the whole season. If they want to quit along the way, it is not a good signal to send that they can opt out and leave the team at any time. Have that discussion with them when they are begging to sign up, before you make the commitment to the time and cost for them to join. Make it part of the deal, they have to commit for at least one season.
- Try to ensure the sport/activity is something they chose, not you chose for them (of course if they are really young and you want to suggest something that’s fine, but make sure they want to try it). This should be something they really want to participate in. You had your day in youth sports/activities, don’t live vicariously through your child.
- Remember joining a team is a way to learn some of life’s bigger lessons. It is a way to learn sharing, taking turns, working in cooperation with others, following directions. And, let’s not forget one of the biggest lessons, how to be both a gracious loser and winner. And, that you are not always going to win (no matter how good you think you are—or how much you think you deserve to win).
- Be there for them as their parent – you are not the coach. You are there to support them and encourage them and be proud of them for being on the team. Try not to ever bad-mouth the coach. They don’t need to hear that. It can send the message that they can bad mouth coach as well, and that won’t win them any favors.
- Model good sportsmanship yourself. Acknowledge the kids/athletes/parents on the other teams especially when they do something well. Again, be a gracious losing or winning parent – no trash talking.
Following these simple rules will make your child (and your) participation more enjoyable. Remember, we at Inspire.World are here to help. Have fun!