“How to Separate Sport and Family” Written By Keri Casas
This may not be something every parent thinks about, but it is completely necessary to understand why and how a separate relationship for sports and home life is important to every female athlete.
Why Separate Sport and Family?
As a parent, you want to be involved in your daughter’s life; be supportive, encouraging, and a mentor. When your female athlete is young, they will listen to you, take your advice, and let you teach them the basic things about the game. The issue with teaching, or coaching, your daughter is that they tend to grow independent with age. When female athletes mature into their sport, they want to listen to their coaches or private instructors, those who have played the game. And even if you played the sport when you were younger, techniques and styles have changed. Remember that female athletes tend to be a little more defiant towards their mom or dad trying to teach them than a male athlete. There is nothing wrong with helping your athlete reach their athletic goals, but it is important to take notice when to step down as their “coach”.
Female athletes strive to learn from others than their parents simply because you’re their parent. If they have the opportunity to learn from a female coach or private instructor, they have a mentor to look up to; someone that they can work with that doesn’t tell them to clean their room or be home by six. They have your structure and guidance at home, but let them explore other options when it comes to their sport.
I know it is difficult to let someone else coach your daughter, but it is necessary to divide sport and family. I have seen countless exceptional athletes give up on their dreams of collegiate softball because their parent was too involved in their sport. I have seen too many dads coach their daughter to a breaking point where the sport was just not fun anymore. Aside from that, I have seen families torn apart and parents lose their relationships with their daughter because of constant interference with their sport. As a parent, you don’t want to be the reason why your daughter gave up and quit something they love. And most of all, you don’ want to lose your daughter.
How to Separate Sport and Family?
As I mentioned before, you want to be involved in your daughter’s life by being supportive and encouraging. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that; your female athlete needs your support in her athletic endeavors. So how do you stay supportive without interfering? Don’t give your advice unless she asks for your advice.
After a game, let your athlete talk and share her thoughts about what happened. This way, you can listen to your daughter’s feelings and ideas without your feelings and ideas conflicting. Let your daughter know you are proud of her no matter what and have her back 100%. Female athletes need a sense of security and they need to be able to feel that they can open up about a game or their team to someone. This is a perfect role for you as the parent; you want your athlete to be able to talk to you and your athlete wants to be heard knowing you aren’t going to critique her. A female athlete wants you to be their parent, not a coach.
It may be difficult to step aside as a “parent-coach” because you want the best for your daughter, but realizing that the best for your daughter is for you to watch her from the stands is essential in her athletic growth and your parent-daughter relationship.
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