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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.      


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Comment by Cindy Dudas on February 3, 2014 at 12:28pm

I'm glad you posted about this topic.  I try to keep quiet on the sidelines, but I definitely can't help myself from cheering and screaming like crazy when things are going right.  But when they are going wrong, the girls don't need to hear about it from me.  It only adds to their frustration.  The coaches are the ones who can tell them what they are doing wrong and how to fix it.  Not me.

Comment by Clarissa Nassar on April 30, 2013 at 1:08pm

my son plays soccer and I don't know much about the sport so I just clap, smile and say GO JOJO anytime he is near the ball lol Once I get to know the other kids names I try to cheer them on as well.

Comment by Michael McCauley on April 12, 2013 at 2:29pm

My little guy is 8 and is now into baseball, basketball and soccer, and I help coach.  When I am coaching, I tend to yell out directions.  However, my approach is similar, whenever I am on the sidelines I am just a spectator and don't yell, with the exception of "nice hit", "good catch", etc.  I leave any comments I had to myself or for the car ride home to talk about the game. 

Comment by Beth Keklak on April 10, 2013 at 5:49pm

I can't say I'm always quiet but I'm never negative.  I cringe at some of the things I've heard and behavior I've seen on the sidelines.  I think it is always important to remember that our sideline behavior is a reflection of our team and is something our children should look up to, not be embarrassed by. 


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