SPINw clients come in all ages, genders, and skill levels. Often we work with middle school and high school athletes, and when we do, the parents play a huge role in the process. With all athletes 18 years old and younger, we meet with the parents and athlete together before beginning our work with the athlete. We also meet again at the end of the sessions to go over next steps and how the parent can best continue to support their young athlete.
In addition to individual, team, and coaching sessions, we run parent education seminars for youth clubs and organizations. Our goal is to give sports parents the awareness and tools they need to be supportive and helpful to the athletes, teams and organizations.
That said, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from and about parents, with answers from SPINw’s Brian Baxter, Jimmy Yoo, and Elliott Waksman.
Q: What is wrong with these parents?! Why do they get so worked up over their kids’ sports?
Brian: This is a pretty typical question we get. While the stereotypical irate sport parent may get all the headlines, the majority of sports parents are really positive and supportive. That said, from time to time, most parents can get caught up in the action when their kids are involved. I have had poor parent behavior at sports events described as “sideline rage” – like a driver may experience “road rage.” It’s an emotional reaction to something that someone has done to “Me!” Therefore, make sure that you let the sport event be about your child, and not you personally.
Q: How do I know if my child is succeeding in his sport?
Jimmy: Rather than emphasizing the need to be the best on the team or a starter, focus success in the following manner:
*Giving it your all or giving maximum effort in practice and games
*Be a student of the game, always be willing to learn and improve
*Refuse to let fear and mistakes stop you
Q: I have tried everything I know, but I can’t seem to help my athlete with their confidence/focus/attitude anymore. What can I do?
Brian: Most of the young athletes we see here at SPINw have the most supportive parents who have reached the end of their knowledge of how to help. At a certain point, just hearing something from your parents will not sink in for a teenager (sometimes it does many months or years down the line, but not in that moment). The first thing you may want to try is to simply ask your athlete what they need from you – “How can I help?” Helping them find the answers for themselves is important. If you can’t do that, don’t worry – you’re not alone!