A few weeks ago I was working with our athletes on getting and staying focused during a game. I asked them to write down a list of things that distract them. I was surprised to see "my parents" on most of the lists.
These athletes have great parents. They aren't the ones cussing the umpire and yelling rude comments onto the field. They are the kind of parents that are offering encouragement and last minute instructions from the stands. And we love them!!! They are at every game, cheering on not just their own child, but everyone else's. And...it distracts their children.
This hit home just the other day as my own child started the fall soccer season. This sport is new to her and I knew she would be nervous. I asked her how she was feeling. Her response, "I would be just fine if the parents weren't there." I was a little baffled.
"What do you mean?"
"Once the parents start yelling instructions, I get nervous and forget to listen to my coach. There's too much going on and it makes me nervous."
I had to work really hard this season to keep my mouth shut. It was really hard, and I messed up a lot. But I worked on it, and I think my daughter appreciated my effort.
This article "Dad, it doesn't help" by Mark Maguire is a great reminder that while we have the best of intentions as parents, it often doesn't help. Click HERE to read it.