Teen Sports - How Should Parents Be Involved
Why Join Teen Sports ? Being involved in your teen’s activities is important – especially if it’s teen sports. Teen sports do wonders for the body, mind and spirit. Your teen will learn about good sportsmanship, develop a healthy respect for others, learn to think as part of a team without losing their individualism and feel the thrill of winning and learn to deal with the agony of defeat.
Being part of team, win or lose, can contribute in a variety of other ways in your teen’s social and mental development. They develop an individual sense of worth as a contributing member of the team and a sense of achievement when the team wins. They all win! If the team loses, they strive to make their team better, with the anticipation of winning the next round. They learn to take one on the chin and move past it. Being involved in teen sports keeps your teen stimulated and interested in achieving something other than academics, preparing them to enter them real world where competition can be brutal. The bonus: it keeps them away from ... Read more
There are good coaches and GREAT coaches – hopefully your teen’s sports team will have a GREAT coach. In a video contribution to kidsinthehouse.com, Michael Jarvis, PhD, explains what distinguishes good coaches from GREAT coaches and the importance of striving to be GREAT coach.
“The things that go into making a great coach area: 1st: being a really compassionate caring person that has a real interest in people growing...the art of coaching begins with [a real] understanding [of] the value of the person in front of you…that high regard that a person has for another is at the center of GREAT coaching...That space between…the outcome and what [ we say] to them … defines young minds, how they think about themselves taking the credibility from an adult voice.
So the art of coaching and the presence of a coach in a person's life just can't be overstated. And to really care about another human being in this process is at the center of being a great mentor, a great coach, a great parent, and a great teacher.”
Parent involvement goes beyond attending bake sales or writing a check to a parent-teacher organization—it goes much deeper in terms of hidden benefits it brings. Studies show that parent participation in your kids’ education, teen sports and any other extracurricular activities can help build self-esteem, raise grades, and improve test scores.
Another benefit of parental involvement in teen sports is watching you interact and become your kid’s role model. When you engage with coaches, parents, teachers and maybe even his friends and team members, your teen learns how to behave in social situations. Providing this role model for proper social behavior, your teen will become more well-adjusted, make and keep friends more easily, minimizing any chance of him or her getting into trouble. Teens with involved parents will typically display age-appropriate social behavior with peers as well as with adults in a position of authority.
Tips on Staying Involved
You don’t have to be part of the PTO/PTA to be involved in your kid’s activities. If school politics are not for you, find other avenues to contribute to their activities. Teen sports can involve many things: ordering uniforms, statistician, communicating with other parents, working with the Coach’s agenda to get things done, etc. Kids who have had their parents involved in their school activities from early childhood typically don’t shun their presence as teens.
Even if you don’t remember your algebra or how to properly punctuate a sentence, sit down and help with their homework. Use the internet and you both might learn something.
Younger children and pre-teens enjoy it when you set aside time to take them to a museum or the library regularly—they look forward to that bonding time. Make time to attend teens sports events and other extracurricular activities, as well. Seeing you in attendance at events that are important contribute greatly to boosting his overall happiness and well-being.
Enthusiasm for learning is contagious, and parents who model a positive attitude will see results.
Give your kids choices and help them understand commitment. For example, if they approach you and want to play 3 sports, suggest they start with one, then add the second, and maybe even a third. However, if you see them over-extending themselves, point it respectfully and explain what happens when one over-extends themselves. If they insist, help them understand two key points:
1. Homework comes first -grades must be kept up
2. If they start something, they must finish the year (besides the fact that you paid an arm and a leg for the uniform, shoes, socks, etc.)
- The team depends on them
- The coach depends on them
- Quitting is not an option once into it -they don’t have to do it next year but must finish what they started and committed to
Once you and your kid have an agreement and understanding, make the first move to demonstrate your support and willingness to help them succeed. As time goes on, they will come to understand the importance of not taking on too much and be more cautious about what they ask for. Whatever else happens, stick to your guns on the agreement. This is a valuable lesson one can only learn from experience.
Find out if your kid is actually learning and understanding what’s being taught—every person learns differently. Help them fill that gap by pairing him up with a tutor or fellow student.
Keep teachers in the loop when something big is going on in a student’s life—this is helpful in understanding moods and behavioral changes.
Remember, when attempting to stay involved in your teen’s sports, don’t make it about you. Overinvolved parents can cause problems for their kids, such as embarrassment. Ask what the needs are before rushing off to do something and avoid becoming an over-involved parent.