ABC features Kids In The House experts shedding light on parents ruining youth sports:
"LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Have you seen parents yelling and getting rowdy at youth sport games? Have you been that parent? The youth sports community has become more competitive throughout the years, but most of that competitiveness stems from parents and coaches. Kids In The House interviewed John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, to share with parents how they can redefine the youth sports community and teach the true meaning of success to young athletes.
O'Sullivan founded The Changing The Game Project in 2012 after two decades as a soccer player and coach on the youth, high school, college and professional level. He tells parents that one of the most important conversations they have with their child athlete is during the car ride home from the game.
"The best thing that a parent can say to their kids after a game is really five simple words and that's 'I love watching you play'," he says.
O'Sullivan explains that too many parents use this time to overanalyze the game. He stresses the importance of understanding that kids simply need you to support them and let them relax at this time.
"This is the time when kids are physically and emotionally exhausted and they just want to unwind, and yet this is the time so many parents choose to criticize and critique their kid's performance or the performance of the coach or the performance of their teammates," says O'Sullivan. "And this is probably the least teachable moment."
O'Sullivan also encourages parents of very talented athletes to help them see their value as an individual and not just focus every aspect of their lives around the sport they play.
"John does a great job teaching coaches and parents that they need to focus on the child's personality rather than their performance," says Leana Greene, CEO of Kids In The House. "I've seen so many parents define their child solely as an athlete and focus too much on the sport rather than their happiness."
O'Sullivan teaches parents that a child's "state of mind will determine how well they play." As parents and coaches, he says adults need to encourage kids to play their best rather than play to win. This will help them as they progress and play at higher levels.
"The best players play with freedom," he says. "They play without fear and they are not afraid of making errors. They can play up to their potential."
Kids In The House is hosting a live Google Hangout broadcast on Thursday, April 23rd with John O'Sullivan, Natalie Hawkins, mother of Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas, John Haime, optimal sports psychologist, and Kevin Lake, film and branded entertainment executive who is currently producing "Playing It Forward" with Robert Downey Jr. and a documentary on former NFL player Steve Gleason.
For more advice on raising an athlete, watch all of John O'Sullivan's videos on KidsInTheHouse.com."