Are You An Elite Sports Parent?

Asia Mape
In Balance, Learn
By Asia Mape | March 20, 2017

Are You An Elite Sports Parent?

I know you’ve seen that Mom or Dad on the sideline dressed head to toe in performance gear, tweaking out every time their child misses a shot. Well, guess what? Most truly successful athletes have parents who share certain winning habits with them. And it is not being an overbearing sideline nuisance.


In the spirit of helping all mankind, we offer this simple guide on how to become an Elite Sports Parent. By following these commonsense principles you can help your child succeed in the game by succeeding in life.

  1. Appearance matters. Let’s face it we are all judging books by their covers. Avoid the common temptation to dress like a super fan. You will simply look like a larger member of your child’s team and that is stupid.
  2. Oh, and by the way, you are not eligible to play. Rid yourself of the the idea that at any moment the coach may turn around and tap you to come into the game late to seal the win by making a big stop. The league has rules against someone your age competing. Make peace with this and move on. Quickly.
  3. Also, you are not the coach. So, do not coach. This is true before, during or immediately after tryouts, practices or games. It makes everyone uncomfortable. EVERYONE. Including the coach. It is especially hard on YOUR CHILD.
  4. Be friendly with ALL parents, even those from the other team, but not used car salesperson friendly; that just makes everyone doubt your intentions.
  5. Fifteen minutes early for tryouts, practices, and games is considered by most coaches ‘on time.’ Pulling up exactly on the hour with a child spilling out of the minivan pulling on cleats is not a testament to your Jason Bourne–like logistical skills. It is being late.
  6. Coaches are busy people. Do not text, email, or question the coach unless the answer you are seeking helps all parents on the team solve a real issue.
  7. Be positive about the team and praise the other players (not your own).
  8. A team practice is not a spectator sport. Drop your kid off … Make yourself useful … Come back 15 minutes before the end of practice.
    Carpools are good. They reduce pollution, save time and money for everyone involved, and give kids time to socialize.
  9. Do not OVER spend, OVER train, or OVER prepare. These are all red flags that you are OVER compensating.
  10. After every tryout, every practice, and every match tell your child one thing and one thing only: I Love to Watch You Play.


Most of us, myself included, are not there yet. While slogging along on the journey it is nice to know that the practical application of love and commonsense derived from most of these suggestions can help catapult you to Elite Parent Status!


  1. Funny thing is, I watch the Hockey Hall of Fame induction every year, and none of those players ever describe their parents doing as you say. Actually, quite the opposite.

    • Thanks Ron for your feedback. The post was somewhat tongue and cheek, hope you were able to get a little laugh at least. It would be interesting to categorize all sports Hall Of Fame speeches to find out what really inspired that athletes. Thanks for reading.


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