When your child is playing sports, your goal as a father should really be to try to make it as fun as possible. As they grow older, and the excitement of competition and striving to become better players sets in, your goal should still be to make sure they have as much fun as possible, and leave the rest to the coach.

It’s hard for any parent to sit back and watch while another adult is trying to teach their son or daughter how to do something. That goes for all sorts of things, not just sports. When you add in the pressure of where the child is playing in the field, batting in the lineup, or taking their turn sitting on the bench, parents often have a hard time keeping their mouth shut - or at least waiting until the right time and place to bring up their concerns with the coach. Having been on both the field and in the bleachers during games with my sons doesn’t necessarily make it any easier for me.

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to let them know that no matter what the situation is, you are on their side. You've got their backs covered at all times. They need to know that so they can come to you, let you know whats going on, what they did, or how they feel – and that isn’t limited to just baseball. They need to know that whatever happens to them, they can come to you for support and unconditional love. If they feel a coach, or teacher, or friend is giving them bad advice or making them feel inferior, you want them to be able to come to you.

With that being said, you as the parent (or the coach) need to know how and when to step-in and say something. We’ve all seen the stories on tv about the lunatic parent that gets into a fist fight with the coach on the field during a game only, to be hauled away by the police. This isn’t showing the child that they have their backs, rather it’s showing that maybe it is more about the parent than about the child.

So be sensitive to your child’s needs. Pay attention to what is going on in the field (or at school). Talk to them and let them know they can come to you anytime. It’s going to help them have more fun, and it could be the foundation for your relationship that makes it easier for them to come to you as they get older when the issues are bigger than sports.


 


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