5 Things Parents of Athletes Should Know: Do You Cheer On, Encourage or Push Your Child?


I remember the good old days of playing volleyball, running track and dancing on my dance team. It was the time of my life! I loved being part of a team, hanging out with my friends, making new friends and winning every once in awhile was fun too. Now, it’s time to see my children play and participate in sports and extracurricular activities.

My daughter started out her Junior High year playing volleyball and now basketball. While it is has been so much fun watching her have fun and improve over the season, it also has been rather interesting people watching the other parents.

The bottom line is this…everyone is proud of their daughter and wants them to do well, but not all parents express their support in the same fashion. Parents and guardians, here are 5 things a parent of an athlete should know and keep in mind and I mean this in the kindest way possible.

1. It ain’t okay to be cray. Do NOT coach your kid from the sideline, yell, scream or act a fool. As a parent, your job is to be a cheerleader, not a coach…unless you are the coach. If you wanted to be a coach, you should have volunteered to do so. If you have nothing nice to say, sit down and be quiet.

2. RELAX. I HIGHLY doubt you are raising a professional athlete. Sorry to burst your bubble! So with that being said, it is okay to relax. Let your kiddo have fun, learn the game and learn the lessons that sports can teach a child.

3. Let them fail. If you child forgets their basketball shoes at home, if they aren’t working out or practicing at home, they are the ones who will be suffering the consequences. You can be there to encourage and support. Their mistakes will make them better!

4. This isn’t about living out your sports dreams through them! This time isn’t about YOU. It’s about them! Let them make their own choices, both good and bad.

Don’t be THIS parent:



5. Your kids are watching you. Trust me, they are! I tried taking some photos from afar and after the game my daughter says, “Were you trying to take pics of us on the bench?” Mmmhmmm. Make them proud not embarrassed!

So what kind of parent are you? Do You Cheer On, Encourage or Push Your Child?

Me? I’m doing my best to be the biggest fan for my daughter and not some sideline crazy personoh-no-you-dih-ent-just-do-that-girl-throw-my-hands-up-in-the-air-ok-fine-i’ll-sit-down-now-ref-sorry kind of parent.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mamasita Amber
Mama of three children and proud new mama of a standard poodle named Prince Miguel.

28 Responses to “5 Things Parents of Athletes Should Know: Do You Cheer On, Encourage or Push Your Child?

  • massmommie@gmail.com'
    Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    6 years ago

    All great tips! Those crazy sports moms can be hard to deal with for us other parents, too – not just the kids.

  • Nothing like pushy parents to ruin the fun for all the kids. Our job is to nurture.

  • I think I am a mixture of those things. I try to just encourage them but I am a coach by nature so I push when I can. I am always kind about it though.

  • I am the mom of a softball player, I’m pretty reserved. I hear the parents that yell and holler, its frustrating for me. I just want my daughter to have fun. She’s a really good player, she’s played All Stars and I think its because she is just having fun, no one is pushing her to do anything she doesn’t wan to do. She genuinely likes the game.

  • My kids are grown and I remember seeing those crazy parents that would yell and scream at their kids. I am sure the kid was so humiliated. I would never embarrass my child like that.

  • We encourage our children but are not crazy screaming parents either. It’s too much pressure but it’s also good to do what we love well.

  • It’s definitely a fine line. We had one child try to back out of a sport, but we had him finish up his commitment to the team, and then he could stop doing the sport.

  • I was never obnoxious at events. I probably took more pictures than I should have though. Lol!

  • I have seen some parents get pretty hot under the collar when things don’t go their way. You want to tell them to sit down and shut up!

  • I am the loud cheerer in the crowd and I’m not ashamed! The kids love it too… Makes for great fun out at games!

  • I think I just sat here and started at that gif for a good five minutes. I don’t understand the obsession with being the “best” and winning at everything. I encourage my children, but don’t push them.

  • We had our first experience with this in soccer. I think there is a fine like between encouraging and being pushy. We called to our daughter so that she’d pay attention because our coach was really bad.

  • I hate those parents who coach from the sidelines. They not only make it uncomfortable for their child, but for the rest of us as well. My daughter had one of those parents at her basketball games, and honestly, I wanted to smack him in the head every time he yelled directions to his daughter.

  • You are so right on all of the points you share! Sports are important for kids but it needs to be fun not a chore

  • Oh, I know so many parents who should be reading this post!

  • jennifer@welovplaytime.com'
    Jennifer Williams
    6 years ago

    I always cheered my son on. I was the one that started the fights with the coach though because our coaches would yell at them regardless of how the game went – if they lost they were yelled at, if they won they should have won better. We no longer allow our children in organized sports because the parents/coaches ruin it. The kids should be having fun – end of story – they are not professionals they are children.

  • I cheer on and encourage my son when he plays basketball. However, I guess I can be pushy sometimes too.

  • I’m not sure which type. I try encouraging but I don’t overdo it. Never was the sports mom that I know. Lol

  • Failure is a stepping stone to success, it’s okay to let them fail; but teach them to always get back up and try again!

  • This was funny! I wish my son was into sports, but he’s not. So I don’t push him. But if I was….I would really want to be the one that makes poster boards and wore things like a blinged out t-shirt that said Football Mom. Oh and a button. I would need a button. I wonder if they make those for the kids in video game design….. πŸ˜‰

  • I can really relate to this. Point 4 and .5 are extremely important in my opinion. Unfortunately recently we were in a karate tournament which cost me a couple of raised eyebrows for sure. There was one other team there that did full on contacts like they were going for the throats they were going for the really hard punches and they copped a couple of our guys at the end in sparring they caught them right in the face which they’re not supposed to do. But the brutal thing was I could hear parents sitting in front of me saying things like that it was other kids aren’t even making contact and criticizing our guys for the way in which we practice kids karate. Our school actually believes in sparring but sparring with rules and not being a jerk and you know crack and somebody across the face which is totally unacceptable. I kind a wanted to go up and tell that guy like seriously these are kids what’s your problem?

  • I don’t have kids but if I did I thought I would just cheer on no matter what, after all it should be fun πŸ™‚

  • Just keep inspiring them to never give up now matter the out come!

  • I have always cheered on my kids and encouraged them to keep going. My son has played basketball since he was little. He is in College and still plays.

  • #4 especially & it can resonate with anything outside of sports as well. That GIF is friggin’ hilarious!

  • lisariosonline@gmail.com'
    Lisa Rios
    6 years ago

    All are great tips! I love all the points you have shared here. I just want my daughter to have fun. She’s really a good player and no one is pushing her to do anything. We all should encourage our children. Thanks for sharing this great post.

  • I just let my kids be kids and have fun. My husband on other hand tries to push them and I have to tell him to calm down. He’s the crazy one. πŸ™‚

  • I encourage my son but right now we only do sports activities here and there. Good tips for sports parents to remember.

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