5 mistakes parents make at their child's game

"Shoot the ball Billy!"

“What are you doing Billy!"

"Don't you know how to play basketball Billy?"

"Take him out of the game coach!" 

Have you ever been to a game where it feels like one of the parents is trying to do more coaching than the actual coach?

There are many ways to be supportive of your child during a game, but there are also many ways to be a bad fan. Here's a quick look at the top five mistakes parents make at their child's games.

1. They don't stay seated

Try as they may, some parents don't have it in them to stay seated in the bleachers and watch the game as a spectator. Instead, they find themselves standing up, moving up and down the court or field, trying to coach the team. This is a no-no in the sports world, and parents should do their best to simply be a fan. 

Not only is it embarrassing for players to see their parents running up and down the court, but it's also extremely aggravating to the coaches. A coach trains his players to listen to his commands, but when a parent tries to fulfill the coach's role, this distracts the child, and he or she will find it difficult to 'keep his or her head in the game.'

2. They fail to provide support

When players are running up and down the court, you can count on the fact that they are turning their heads (or they are at least looking out of the corner of their eyes) every few minutes to see the look on their parents' faces. If they see disapproval and no support coming from their parents, it can be detrimental to their ability to play ball. It should always be remembered that support is most needed when a game isn't going well.

There have been more than a few great athletes who have succeeded without the support of their families. However, you can rest assured that there have been many more successful athletes who did have the support of the parents. Support is key because it provides a child with added confidence. 

3. They scold their children during a loss

When a player is in the middle of a game that's not being won, this is the most important time to be shouting words of encouragement. After all, it takes a boost in confidence and an assurance that winning the game is possible in order for a child to overcome the challenge of turning a losing game into a victory. 

Unfortunately, though, there are some parents who find themselves at a loss for words when it comes to being encouraging. Scolding a player, though, will only result in defiance and a decrease in self-assurance -- both of which are a combination for failure, not only on the court but in many other areas of life too. 

4. They fail to act as mature adults

There's no denying that a child will follow the example set by his or her parents. And while a calm, poised and controlled parent is indubitably an excellent example to follow, for parents who can't act in this way, it's not uncommon for a child to act in the same manner. And when you put a child on the court who is out of control, doesn't listen to the commands of the coach, and lacks respect for the game, this child will soon be put on the bench. 

5. They try to talk to the coach during the game

When it comes to talking to the coach, there's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to converse about the progress a child is making. But during a game, this is absolutely not the right time to be making small -- or big -- talk with the person who is trying to lead the team to victory. 

And at no time -- before, during or after a game -- is it okay to ask a coach to give a certain player more playing time. This will only exacerbate a coach, and if the child finds out, it will cause him to lose confidence in the fact that any playing time given to him is coming only because it was asked for by his mom or dad. 

The takeaway

How you act at your child’s games does matter. Be mature, supportive and respectful. It will go a long way to supporting your child.

Whitney Cann Follow

Whitney has created more than 5,000 articles that have been accepted by thousands of cl... View Full Bio

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