Often, parents can get wrapped up in number of goals scored, changing the lineup, or playtime. While those things are important, they rank second to your child's happiness. Yes kids need to learn discipline and they need to experience failure, which, won't be fun for them. But your child should want to go to practice and play in the games. If he or she isn't feeling joy and satisfaction from playing, have a long conversation with your kid and discuss what stands in between their happiness on the field. Is it that they aren't feeling like their skills are up to par with their teammates? Are they afraid of really pushing themselves and failing? Are they uncomfortable with being part of a team and sharing responsibility and play time with others? All of these issues can be worked on and used as a learning experience. From hard work and evaluating the situation, kids can move forward and learn how to take ownership of a situation and feel like they really did something to fix their problem on their own.
Playing a sport for a significant amount of time can really enhance a college application. It shows commitment, team work, time management, responsibility, respecting authority, and so much more. These skills are essential to being successful on a college campus and afterwards, in the working world. If parents get wrapped up in the nonessential parts of the game, this can detract from the kid's ability to acquire all of these great skills. An example: If parents get too wrapped up in being their child's manager and yelling at the coach or their kid for their performance, they could hold their kid back from learning how to take the coach's instruction, they could embarrass their kid in front of their teammates and damage the bond they had been working on, and the parents could make their child miss out on learning how to advocate for themselves. The next time you feel your kid's sports stressing you out, remember that there will be a day that you long to watch your kid at practice and the chats you have on the way home together. The reason you put your kid in sports is for him or her to grow and have fun so make sure those are your top priorities.