From the end of my last post on Andrew Luck retiring, one could conclude that youth sports is a utilitarian endeavor. Get a college scholarship, turn pro, make millions of dollars. The exact problem with too many parents’ thinking.
I hate to break it to you, but your child is very unlikely to get a Division I college scholarship. They’re even less likely to turn pro and make mad money ala Andrew Luck or Rory McIlroy.
I propose youth sport parents be required to sign the following contract at the time they sign their children up for any organized sport.
- I do not expect my son/daughter to make up for my own athletic failings.
- Therefore, I commit to not yelling at my child from the sidelines. Ever.
- I do not expect my son/daughter to earn a college athletic scholarship, turn pro in any sport, or make millions of dollars.
- I will not complain to the coaches about my child’s playing time.
- I will cheer for my child’s team and also for whichever team they are competing against.
- I expect my son/daughter to develop stronger social connections during the season. In that spirit, I expect them to cheer their teammates and show respect to their opponents whether they win or lose.
- I expect my son/daughter to become more resilient in light of probable difficulties during the season, whether physical, interpersonal, or otherwise. And unless it’s a grievous situation and I am asked by my child to intervene on his/her behalf, I commit to letting him/her resolve his/her own problems this season.
- Learning to compete hard should never supersede having fun. Consequently, I expect my son/daughter to develop even more positive attitudes towards physical activity in the hope that they enjoy a lifetime of good health.