Meredith wrote an article last year about how to tell if you're taking youth sports too seriously. Her checklist included 13 great points:
- You're deeply concerned about your child’s playing time.
- You insist that he or she absolutely must play a certain position.
- You feel the need to constantly push your child to practice and try harder.
- You feel terribly guilty if you have to miss one game.
- You feel it’s your job to confront the coach on behalf of your child about playing time or position issues.
- You'll pay whatever it takes for your child to be on the best teams, have the best private coaches, and go to the best camps, even if you really can’t afford it.
- You coach your child in the car on the way to the game.
- You coach your child during the game from the sidelines.
- You critique your child in the car after the game on the way home.
- You worry a lot about your child’s performance and get so nervous that you can’t enjoy the experience.
- You yell at the coach or officials during the game because you don’t agree with their calls.
- You're constantly bragging to family and friends about what a stud/studette your child is.
- You get angry at your child for making a mistake in the game.
Consider these points seriously, and if any apply to you, don't be ashamed that you fell into the trap! Use positive energy to determine to escape these traits, rather than look back and examine your mistake.
The worst thing you can do is be in denial that any of these apply to you, and unfortunately, that's what happens more often than not. The people who need these words of wisdom (whether they be from Janis or from OSIP) are the ones who will never listen. It's an unfortunate paradox, but rather than focus on the bad, let's empower the good.