Watching children participate in sports can be a wonderful experience for
youngsters and for their parents.

Some kids really love having their family members at their sporting events.

And some moms and dads love coaching their kids in sports like baseball, soccer, basketball and football.

Parents often feel good about themselves for “making it to all of their kid’s games.” And parents do deserve credit for their willingness to adjust their busy schedules to get to their children’s events.

Also, there is no question that sports can really be a wonderful way for a parent
and a child to bond with one another.

However, many parents and kids have witnessed sports parents who behave poorly at sporting events. These kinds of parents can create a lot of pressure for children
and they can produce some ugly scenes at athletic contests.

Having counseled thousands of young athletes, I have noticed that many kids feel better, play better and enjoy their sport more when their parents are not present.

A preference for limited parent involvement has been communicated to me by athletes from a wide range of team sports and individual sports.

Where individual sports like figure skating, gymnastics, golf and tennis are concerned, some young athletes report discomfort and they feel as if they are under their parent’s microscope.

Some kids, who are very eager to please their parents, can feel very anxious when their parents are in the stands. Their presence becomes a distraction and a source of anxiety and stress.

And some youngsters report having a better time when they are allowed to interact with their teammates, opponents and coaches without their parents’ involvement.

Some kids simply have more fun if they are allowed to enjoy their sport in their own way on their own terms. More importantly, permitting your youngster to own his sport will allow him or her to become more self-reliant and it will help to build your child’s self-confidence and self- esteem.

If your child is involved in sports ask him or her how they feel about you being at their games.

Realize that their desire for your presence can change as they grow up. Some kids will want more parental involvement in sports and others will want to go it alone as they mature. And some will want you there but they will not want any feedback, comments, criticism or advice from you.

Listen carefully to your kids request regarding your involvement with sports.

Author's Bio: 

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist, Author and the Founder of

Dr. Granat counsels elite athletes and their parents. He has been featured in many major media outlets including The New York Times, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated and The BBC. Dr. Granat can be reached at or at 888 580-ZONE.