Thank you Mom! Mother and son hugging on baseball bench.

Encouraging your children to play sports is one of the best things a parent can do. Unfortunately, sometimes this can get taken too far. If you put too much pressure on your child, they will grow to resent their sport, and you, instead of enjoying it.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you be the best sports parent you can be.

DO support your child as much as possible.

You should be your child’s number one fan. Your support means the world to them, so make sure you give it to them whenever possible. Watch every game, applaud from the stands, attend as many practices as you can, and always ask them questions and get involved.

DON’T try to relive your youth through your child.

There is a fine line between being supportive and being the crazy sports parent; you want to do your best not to cross into the latter. Accept the fact that your child may not be as athletically gifted as you were when you were a kid, and cheer them on no matter their skill level.

DO promote a healthy lifestyle.

Introducing your child to the world of sports is a great first step towards a healthy lifestyle, but it is not the only step. You should also promote good eating habits, talk about the importance of adequate rest, and preach a healthy work-life balance to prevent them from burning out.

DON’T disrespect coaches, referees, etc.

It seems that every youth sports game has at least one parent yelling at a coach, referee, or their own child. Don’t be that parent. Disrespecting a coach or referee only reflects poorly on yourself and embarrasses your child. On the same note, don’t try to coach from the stands. There is a time and a place for everything, but the middle of a game from the sidelines is not the time to critique your kid.

DO encourage your child to play whatever sport(s) they want.

One of the best parts about sports is that there are so many to choose from. Don’t limit your child’s options just because you had always envisioned them playing a specific sport. Encourage them to try whatever sport they want – even if it’s not what you had in mind.

Whichever sport your child chooses to play, they can get their fix at Insports. As southern Connecticut’s largest indoor sports facility, we host a variety of leagues, tournaments, and clinics all year long for athletes of all ages and skill levels. Visit our website to learn more, or give us a call at (203) 268-1214.