11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents

Warren 'Coach' NyeAll Sports, Sport Tips

Mind Over Sport with Coach Nye…



I am honored to be able to bring to you all our guest author today. One of the premier leaders in the world of educating both parents and players in sport. I have had the privilege of getting to know this women over the past little while and am thrilled to have her on Mind Over Sport.

Please allow me to introduce Janis Meredith of JBMThinks.com  which is a blog for parents and players to come to and receive valuable information. She talks about and helps all the busy and often overwhelmed sports parents by providing guidance and resources to guide parents as they strive to give their children a growing and positive youth sports experience.

Janis launched this blog in early 2010, and it is rapidly growing into a vibrant and engaged community of people looking to provide a positive, growing youth sports experience for their kids. Janis  not only writes a blog and other youth sports websites, she also airs two podcasts a month and a short weekly Youtube video.

She is one busy mom herself!!

Well I asked Janis to give us some tips here today that will help us parents to be positive and supportive to our children who play sports, so here you go!


11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents

11 Habits - Parenting

As a parent, you know all about habits–good and bad. You see it as your child practices habits at home, in school and even in sports.

As parents, you also have habits. And if your child plays youth sports, you will make choices in how you parent that will become habits. Those habits will affect your child’s youth sports experience. In my new booklet 11 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents, I talk about habits that will make you and your child’s experience in youth sports much more enjoyable.

I want to share one of those habits with you now: the habit of relaxing, rejoicing and releasing. In other words, parents, lighten up!

At every youth sports event there are parents who have slipped into the habit of taking their children’s games way too seriously. Some parents care way too much, even more than their kids do.

They get tense and express their frustration to the coaches or officials or they pace the sidelines, unable to calm down and enjoy the game.

And sometimes you can’t see the effects of taking the game too seriously because it’s something parents keep to themselves. Losing sleep, worrying, badgering kids to work harder…all very clear signs that parents need to lighten up and remember that it is YOUTH sports.

Perhaps when you are tempted to take your child’s game way too seriously, remember these three words–the 3 Rs.


When I say relax, I am not suggesting that you remain aloof or appear apathetic to your child’s sports. I’m not even saying that you shouldn’t get nervous. I’ve sat many hours in the stands with nerves on edge watching my kids play sports. Wanting them to do their best, praying they wouldn’t get injured, hoping they’d feel good about their performance. When I say relax, I am saying that you should not be so obsessed with your child’s performance that you can’t see the bigger picture of sports.

Help them improve, yes! Challenge them to work hard, yes! But never, ever forget that the most important part of your child’s sports playing is NOT his stats, press clippings, or awards. The most important part of sports is who your child becomes in the process. When you can see the bigger picture, then and only then can you relax, knowing that the world will not end if they don’t get their playing time or if they don’t score enough points.


Maybe the game was a disastrous loss. Or your child only played two minutes. Or maybe your little athlete got in the game only to make some major goofs. Nothing to celebrate there, right? But despite the mistakes and the embarrassment and frustration, there is always something to enjoy.

• Look for your child’s small victories–they are in every game.

• Recognize skills and plays on both sides.

• Sometimes, it is just simply the fact that your child is able to play sports.

Rejoicing may not come easy for some of you. If so, you must practice looking for the positive.


Part of a parent’s job is to be in control…at least for awhile.

But the other part of a parent’s job is prepare your kids to be in control. And that’s why you must start releasing them a little bit at a time.

Let them make mistakes….and show them how to learn from them. Encourage them to fight their own battles, whether it’s con- fronting a coach or a teammate.

Teach them how to make their own choices and how to under- stand the consequences of those choices. Resist the temptation to always make their path a smooth and easy one. There are times to step in and help, and there are times to let them figure it out on their own.

Being a sports parent is consuming and emotionally draining, adding another layer of challenge to the already demanding job of parenting. But I am convinced that if you can remember to relax, rejoice, and release, your child will learn to enjoy competition–win or lose.

Learn about the other 10 Habits of Happy and Positive Sports Parents in Janis’ new book 11 Habits of Healthy and Positive Sports Parents. You can order the book on Amazon.

Thanks Janis for those wise words and I hope to have you back real soon!

Until next time.


Coach Nye