Youth athletics. Sigh. What a mess it has become. Dead are the days of recreation athletics and low pressure games where parents are just happy to see their kids outside, playing a game with their friends.
Now youth athletes are under soooo much pressure. It’s become a job.
And unfortunately, parents who claim to not have enough time to do anything in life but work, and chaffeur their children around from one activity to the next, are at the root of the problem. There! We said it.
In all our willingness and eagerness to get our children ahead of the game and recruited to college at the age of 9, we have become monsters behind the scenes of youth athletics – whether it be softball or football, or t-ball or volleyball.
So today, we review 5 ways you can simply hammer the last nail in the coffin of your kids ‘athletic career’ and make sure that they hate sports, hate competing, and feel simply overwhelmed by the sheer idea of taking the field.
- Endlessly spat hate and negative comments about their teammates in the car on the ride home. Remind them time and time again how Sally Sue sucks at short stop and how your kid would be so much better there. Make sure to tell them all about Betty’s parents who are kissing the coaches ass just to ensure that she plays. Yes! Turn the radio down, force them to take the head phones off and rant on and on about all of their team-mates and their pitfalls. (Whom by the way they probably like a whole lot and consider their friends) This makes sure they are confused, and conflicted about their loyalties and begins to breed entitlement.
- Make sure they hear you when you put down their coaches! Laugh outwardly at how stupid the coaches are, complain about the dumb choices they made, explain how they ruined the game, ensure that your child knows the whole game is really about daddy/mommy-ball and that it isn’t your child’s fault they don’t get exactly what YOU want them to get during the game. Make sure you make your child feel like a VICTIM! Talk badly about the coaches, and whenever you get the chance, even insert some personal issues you know about, that make the coach a deplorable person.
- Act like a snob during team events. Sit away from the other parents, choose not to support the entire team, do your best to remain an outsider at all events, and appear angry and intimidating. This way while your child is playing, they will take note of your distance and sense your anger/resentment/frustration and begin to feel guilty that their participation causes you discomfort which makes them miserable because they LOVE AND RESPECT YOU!
- Get angry with your child when they don’t do well. Because, there is absolutely no excuse for a child to have an off day, or a bad game, right? Make sure you correct and over-correct, and then show them how frustrated you are with them. Even mention that they embarrassed you. And if you want to make sure they are really miserable – do this criticizing DURING the game, right in front of everyone! After all, their performance is a direct representation of you, right? And Lawd forbid – they embarrass you or don’t have a great outing one day. Unacceptable. Especially after the time and money YOU put in.
- Drag your kid from team to team, coach to coach, always looking for the greener grass on the other side, and constantly moving on when you feel your child is not being treated fairly or you are unhappy. Because you know – if you find the same old thing everywhere you go the problem is obviously someone else and not you!