6 signs you’re an ‘over involved’ sports parent

Are you a Sideline Psycho, Silent Suppkicking-and-screaming-ferrell-yells-at-kidorter or just an Enthusiastic Encourager?

When it come to kids sport and parental involvement it is difficult to know where to draw the line. Do too little and the kids may think you don’t care, do too much and the sport becomes more about you than them.

In the first of this series we’ll look at 6 ways you can identify if you’re an ‘over involved’ parent.

  1. Are your feelings for your child dependent on their training or playing performance. Do they get hugs when they win and the cold shoulder when they don’t? Is the ride home frosty after a poor game and joyful when they play well? Do you wait outside the change rooms when they win, and in the car with the motor running when they lose? Do you give the same amount of attention to non-sporting siblings? If this is you, then you’re over involved.
  1. Is your own self-esteem dependent on your child’s performance? Do you move away from other parents when your kid makes a mistake? Are you friendlier to them when your kid is doing well? Are the Facebook posts to let people know what they are up to, or to brag? Is the thought of missing a game as bad as a root canal at the dentist? If so you’re over involved.
  1. Do you place all your emphasis on winning. Winning is part of competing, but if you fail to see any forms of improvement over and above what the scoreboard or the ladder says then you are over involved. Positive life skills, enjoyment, perseverance, overcoming adversity, teamwork, hardwork, understanding the value of practice – these are all qualities you can learn from sport and importantly aren’t dependent on winning.
  1. Do you spend money you don’t have to make sure your kid has the very latest equipment? Do you pay exorbitant amounts for private coaching in the hope that it will lead to something bigger, even though there are no guarantees? Whilst there isn’t anything wrong with buying what you can afford, it becomes a problem when you buy things you can’t afford. $100 boots will work just as good as $300 boots. Ask yourself why do you do it and if you can’t answer easily then you’re over involved.
  1. Do you set your kids goals for them? Whether it’s the goals they want to achieve in an individual game or the bigger career goals? Do you completely disregard what they enjoy doing and tell them what is best for them? Think about your kid’s goals and see if they are yours or theirs. If they’re yours, then you’re over involved.
  1. Do you constantly move your child from team to team, coach to coach, searching for somebody who will finally realize your kid’s talent? Do you want your kid to be the ‘big fish in the little pond’? Is it always somebody else’s fault why your kid is not over achieving? Are you constantly in the coaches’ pocket? If this is you, then you’re over involved and possibly delusional.

The good news is that it is never too late to change. If you do decide to change, I guarantee the most important person in your life, your child, will love you for it.

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AUTHOR: Nathan Burke is the founder of Nathan Burke Consulting – a Melbourne based firm that offers training and coaching solutions helping people and businesses achieve High Performance.

If you are looking for guidance, support or training to help you find that extra “edge” that can take your performance to the next level, then contact Nathan and enquire how he might be able to assist you.