Long practices, altering family vacations, screaming at officials, not happy with playing time, big wins, tough losses, kids that come home from an exciting performance, or kids that come home upset from a major disappointment, Sound familiar? Being the parent of an athlete is much like riding a roller coaster. There are so many emotions involved that it is tough to control if you get caught up in the moment.
Athletics are a tremendous opportunity for our student athletes to learn many valuable life lessons. As parents we must be able to enjoy the successes as well as handle the failures and disappointments that go hand and hand with competition. Don’t be afraid to let your children fail! It is those moments of adversity we learn the most. These tough moments are critical for the game of life.
I have coached for twenty-eight years, have been an Athletic Director for ten years, and raised two boys that played nine different sports. I have witnessed the best and worst in parents. The best advice I can give everyone is to enjoy the process. It goes absolutely way too fast!! It is not always going to be easy, the team is most likely not going to win every game, your child may not be a starter, or even get in a game. Dealing with adversity and handling success are two lessons that everyone involved needs to understand including the players, coaches, and parents. My hope is everyone understands that we are all on the same team. Parents and coaches need to work together and support each other because it is the child who will benefit in the long run. Only a small percentage, (less than 10%) will go on to play collegiate athletics. It is the lessons we learn along the way that is most important. These lessons learned will last a lifetime!
I have included a short video from NFHS as a resource for all parents of student-athletes.
Thanks and Go Eagles!