When watching your child play sports, it’s natural to get excited. But it’s also important to make sure you always act as a Positive Sport Parent – on game day and beyond.
Being a Positive Sport Parent means not only keeping your emotions in check on game day, but also always remaining supportive and respectful of your youth athlete – as well as all the other kids and coaches involved in the competition. It’s also vital to remember that as a parent, you have the power to help shape your youth athlete’s attitude about sports.
In our exclusive TAKE 5 interview, Destinee told us that growing up, her parents were “very involved” in the youth softball experiences of both her and her older sister.
“I began playing at the age of four, and either my mom or dad attended every game,” recalled Destinee. “My mother was always the “Team Mom” who organized team snacks and got our hair bows, and she did whatever she could to try and keep the team happy.”
Destinee also stressed that not only were her parents involved and engaged, but they always displayed behavior of Positive Sport Parents.
“My mom was always a supporter with positive words of encouragement for me,” said Destinee. “My dad was positive and would only cheer me on from the stands in my younger years.”
Destinee explained that as her softball career blossomed, her father began to serve as an on-field coach for many of her teams. This wasn’t always a smooth process for Destinee and her father, but in the end, she believes it paid huge dividends in her career.
“After the games, depending on how the games turned out, car rides were either silent, or my dad would continue with his coaching mechanisms and teach some things that could have been done differently for the future,” said Destinee. “I have learned that he did me a huge favor and taught me a lifelong lesson.”
Destinee believes there are many things softball parents can do today to serve as strong role models and Positive Sport Parents.
“There are plenty of positive roles that parents can play to better our sport,” said Destinee. “The biggest role I would suggest is to just be your child’s biggest cheerleader, and encourage them to be their best at all times. By playing this role, you are also allowing your child to be fearless, because they don’t have to worry about upsetting you. A fearless athlete is an unstoppable athlete.”
Destinee also stressed that there are certain behaviors, attitudes and actions that Positive Sport Parents should go out of their way to actively and consistently avoid engaging in.
“I know there are parents out there who get very upset over an error or strikeout, and even parents who punish their children due to their performance,” said Destinee. “Our sport can only become better by allowing children who LOVE it to continue to play. It takes a special kind of passion to play this sport, and the more you force your children to be the best, the more it’ll pull them away from falling in love with it.”
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of positivity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display positivity. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.
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