My girls are very active in sports and activities, and they both, Rylie especially, have grown up watching me out on the field. Now it’s my turn to sit back and watch them, and I do so quietly. It may surprise you that someone as competitive and athletic as me can be a quiet sideline parent, but I feel that acting so helps children build their confidence both on and off the field.
Growing up, my parents had a similar philosophy. They never sat there screaming at me from the sidelines, but when I heard my name called I knew to pick it up. I always asked for their feedback and they knew I wasn’t asking to hear “fluff.” This approach enabled me to take constructive criticism throughout my career, which is essential for the foundation of a coachable athlete.
When it comes to my daughters, I critique them when I am asked, which is only recently. It’s important that kids become creative in the game and find their comfort level on the field. I feel that when you sit back quietly as a parent, it allows them the opportunity to know and feel when they did well on their own, and discover where they may want to improve.
Do your children play sports? If so, I’d love to open up a discussion on different types of sideline parents and how each can benefit a child’s overall athletic achievements.