There’s a lot of negative stuff happening in youth sports these days. Do you ever get frustrated with it? Don’t you wish you could wave a magic wand over a team, coach, or parent, and change them?
After 34 years of being a wife and 29 years of being a mother, I’ve concluded that trying to change others is an exercise in futility.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot change another person. You can yell at the official, but he’s not going to change his call. You can chew out the coach, but she’s probably not going to change her game strategy. You can nag your kid to work harder and play more aggressively, but that doesn’t produce results either.
What’s the solution then?
It is simply this. Instead of trying to change another person, you must focus on changing things that you CAN control. There’s actually a lot you can change in youth sports when you think about it. Here’s a few things that you absolutely can change:
- Your attitude. Stop blaming the coach, official, or other parents for making you get angry. Your attitude is totally within your control.
- Your friends. You don’t have to sit with the negative voices who only make you mad. Choose another seat.
- Your conversations with the coach. Do you only come to the coach with problems? When was the last time you came to her with a positive comment?
- Your support of the team. Make sure it’s for everyone on the team, not just your own child.
- What you say in the car before and after the game. Let the coach do the coaching and you just let your child know you love to watch him play and are so proud of him.
- Your dinner conversation. As important as youth sports is to some families, it still does not have to be the only topic of conversation. Encourage your kids to have interests outside of sports and explore those topics with them.
- Your involvement. Don’t expect the team mom or dad to do all the volunteering work. Find a way to contribute and do something, no matter how small it seems, to help the team.
- Your spending. You absolutely do not have to spend a ton of money on youth sports. Don’t let the elite teams and the expensive camps suck you in if you can’t afford it. Look for other ways to help your child grow her skills. There are other options in your community. And let me add that I know of an awesome way to raise money without a lot of hassle. Have you ever heart of Flipgive? It’s a way to raise money by shopping! I’ve tried it and it’s easy. You might want to check out my affiliate link and give it a try if you’re tired of cookie sales and car washes.
- Your displays of affection. Make them unconditional and consistent, regardless of how your child plays, how hard he practices, or how seriously he takes the game.
- Your goals for your child’s sports experience. Whether or not your child wants to play in college, the goal of your young athlete’s journey should be about developing character on that journey, no matter how it ends. If not, you are squandering a valuable learning opportunity for your child.
Don’t waste your efforts to change on things that won’t budge. It will only frustrate you more.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at actually begin to change. Wayne Dyer.