Your Child is Not Instant Rice, Cereal, or Popcorn (aka winning isn’t everything)

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youth softballIt’s amazing how many parents are overly concerned with winning, even at 10U, and think results come over night as if their kids are instant rice (or instant cereal, or microwave popcorn, whatever best relates to you).

Success requires a crock pot approach, not a microwave one!

Too often I hear stories of youth sports parents cussing out coaches because their daughter’s team performed poorly, because they think the team “should be” doing better, because they think the coach makes “stupid” coaching decisions, because they don’t understand why one player is playing over another, etc, etc, etc.

I understand the frustration. I do. I’m a sports parent too.

But I also know what it’s like to be on the coaching end and know, all to well that, more often than not, parents looking in from the outside “know” only a very small fraction of what’s going on “inside” the team environment. Heck, many times, parent attitudes and comments cause a lot of problems within a team. Criticism and lack of trust in the coaching staff plants seeds of doubt in their child’s mind about the capability of their coach. It’s already tough enough for coaches to build trust with their team without parents constantly undermining it with their criticism from the bleachers. Parents would do everyone a lot of good by helping their children make the most of any season or playing experience. Every coach, no matter how inexperienced, has something to offer your child. Help your child find that thing!

My daughter is a senior in high school this season. Her team is not doing as well as they normally do, but has the talent and potential to do better. I know how frustrated other parents are. I’m not coaching this season so I hear a lot of it in the stands. I’d love for the team to “turn the corner” and I know they can. They certainly still still have time.

I know, from past experiences, how upset some parents get that their daughter’s team isn’t doing so well in their daughter’s last season, but the fact is, no season is all about the seniors. Regardless of team record, I know my daughter can still have a “good” senior season in many different ways. I hope the team makes it to states this year because I’d like her to have that experience as a senior. She’s been blessed enough to experience states every year of her high school career so far and to not make it would not be fun, but no matter what, there are lessons to learn, successes to celebrate, and moments to enjoy!

It’s too bad more parents don’t have more of a balanced mindset and savor the entire sports experience with their child. Both they and their child would get so much more out of it if they stopped valuing stats and numbers above everything else.

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