What You can Learn about Yourself When Your Child Plays Sports
By janis on Jan 6, 2014

football-mom-300x137People always say how much they learn about themselves when they have kids. And it’s true. And you do.

But when your kids start playing sports, the learning progresses to a whole new level.

It’s not all bad, what you can learn about myself. And keep in mind that it’s a journey too. You will never become the perfect parent–or sports parent–overnight.

Actually, you may have known many of these things about yourself before your kids started playing sports. But gymnasium and field lights can expose new angles to old traits.And sometimes it’s not a pretty sight.

What can you learn when your child plays youth sports?

  • That you have a very strong urge to be in control. You want to know that every situation your kid encounters will work out perfectly.And the more you can do to help it, the better.
  • That you want to fix everything for your kids.  Maybe a talk with the coach, or telling off that mouthy parent, or pushing my kid to work extra hard will fix things. Then again, maybe not.
  • That you will sometimes say stupid things. After games, before games, after practices, before practices.You probably will do it all. Tongue-biting is a skill that most sports parents need to work on.
  • That you worry way too much. When my son was starting quarterback, I’d get diarrhea the day of his games.When my daughters played as varsity starters, I could not eat before the games.It’s a rough way to lose weight. And here’s the kicker: worry will never ever help your child play better. It is a habitual waste of time that disrupts bodily functions.
  • That you may be very competitive.  Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing. But the competitiveness you may feel when watching your kids play sports can translate into some embarrassing behavior. What parent doesn’t always want his kids to win and succeed and shine and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the best there ever was?
  • That love your children very much. Of course you knew this before they played sports. But the reason that you do all those other dumb things is because you do love your kids so much. And sometimes you just can’t control the way it shows.

For me, it’s been a long 21 years of self-discovery.What has your journey looked like?


Janis B. Meredith writes a sportsparenting blog, http://jbmthinks.com. She’s been a sports mom for 21 years, and a coach’s wife for 28, and sees life from both sides of the bench. You can also follow her on facebook and twitter.