Sport Parenting

Sport parenting should be considered a sport! It’s kind of like running hurdles, but when hurdles can just be thrown randomly on the track. You prepare for some things, like you know a transition to a new team can be tough. Other hurdles come out of nowhere, like a sudden dip in confidence after a coach’s comment or an injury before the big game. Hurdles might even come in the form of sport parent cliques. We know it happens.

We also know that parents want what’s best for their kids, although it can be tough to know how to make that happen. Navigating the world of competitive sports can be tough for even the most seasoned sport parents.

When athletes and sport parents meet with us for the initial consultation, we often see a moment of relief. It happens a few minutes into the consult when they realize that they’re in the right place.

It’s a we’ve finally found someone who gets it and can help relief. A weight off your shoulders relief. It’s a breathe a little easier knowing your athlete will have a coach for their mental game relief. A we have a trained professional trained to work through the mindset challenges relief. 

It’s the relief that comes from finding exactly what you’ve been looking for. You can almost feel the deep breath, shoulders dropping, jaw unclenching relief right now!

When athletes start the program, parents often ask us how to support their athletes along the way. We wanted to share a couple of tips here. 

Tip #1: Have a conversation. The level of support athletes are looking for varies greatly by athlete. Ask your athlete what they’d like from you regarding their mental game. 

  • Do they want you to ask how it’s going? 
  • Do they want to talk about their mental game plan with you? 
  • Do they want to recap session highlights with you? 
  • Do they want to show you their progress in the Complete Mental Game Playbook? 
  • Do they want you to remind them of their mental game routines/strategies? 

Maybe they’d like a little space as they implement their game plan. You won’t know until you ask. And don’t be afraid to check in periodically to see if their thoughts have changed. 

Remember that honoring the level of support they request, even if that amount is close to none, is really supporting them at a high level. They’ll appreciate that you’re listening to them.

Tip #2: Avoid unintended pressure. Unintentional pressure is still pressure. We often get parent questions about how to help their athlete achieve big goals without creating more pressure. It’s a real concern and can be a challenging balancing act. I wrote an article for a recent issue of MVP Parent Magazine that addresses how to support your athlete without unintentionally adding extra pressure. Here is a link to the article. It’s on page 21.

Keep doing your thing, sport parents. We’re here to help!

Dr. Linda & the Sterling Sport Mindset Team

Have more in-depth questions about supporting your athlete? If you’re a current client, make sure to schedule your Parent Update Session or send a quick email to your sport counselor. If you’re thinking of becoming a client, schedule an Initial Consultation to talk specifically about the challenges you and your athlete are facing.