Sports Parenting 5

All this week we’ve been looking at how to push back on a youth sports culture that tends to value the wrong things, by living out our faith as sports parents. Jesus said that it’s out of the overflow of our hearts that our mouths speak. Parents, what do your sideline words and behavior say about your heart? Sports psychologist Vincent Fortanasce says, “Frustrated parents can attack the umpires, berate the managers and coaches, and demean the players on the field with impunity. Some go the full hundred yards in criticizing their children’s teammates, and even their own children.” I think you would agree that his observations are tragic. I’ve watched young kids cower and teenagers become bitter in response. And even if they do respond with improved performance, are those critical attitudes the kind of qualities we want to nurture in our kids? Children learn from our example. If we’re going to scream anything, it should be words of praise, encouragement, and acceptance.