Sports and Nagging ParentsDecember 19, 2017
My dad was so good in basketball. He played for the Mapua Cardinals in college and also for the Hongkong(Macau) National Basketball team?
Even if I had decent basketball skills, I always felt sad being compared to my dad. No matter how hard I tried, he was always better in basketball than me
If you know how SPORTS can strain family relationships, then here is one of the best articles my good friend Coach Mic Que wrote entitled “Sports Parent”.
Mic Que is one of the top golf coaches in the country, a Certified Master Teaching Professional by the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America(PGTAA) and a columnist for Inquirer Golf Monthly (since 2009).
In his article he writes:
“It breaks my heart every time.
Young, talented golfer practicing. Parent standing nearby… Parent gives instructions. Child tries. Child fails.
Parent gets upset. Instructions quickly turn into hurtful remarks about child’s character. “Tigas ng ulo mo.”
Child decides to keep his mouth shut. Mostly out of respect. Sometimes because he’s just too tired of arguing. He’ll never win anyway. Even if the parent is wrong.
Truth is… nobody wins.
Torn between the desire to play well and the need to please his parent, a child is forced to make an impossible decision. Sometimes, a child will avoid the decision altogether… by quitting.
So much for “bonding time”.
If you’re a parent, here are some practical reminders to prevent you from pushing your child over the edge. Not a golfer? They are just as applicable to other sports.
- CAN YOU DO IT BETTER THAN THE CHILD? Be honest, are you really in a position to coach your child? Unless you’re sure that you can do it better than him, don’t even demostrate. Give technical advice only when your child asks for it.
2. NAGGING DOES NOT WORK. Have you experienced the same kind of pressure during (a sports) competition that your child is currently exposed to? If not, you’re probably more nervous than him. Yes, nagging (too many unnecessary reminders) is normal. No, it doesn’t work.
3. MODEL GOOD VIRTUES IN PLAYING SPORTS. If you are better than him or if you have prior experience in competitive sports, teach them about the other stuff: Courage. Faith. Teamwork. Respect. Sportsmanship. Dedication. Discipline. Determination. Poise. Better yet, model it. The values they learn in sports far outweight the victories and the trophies.
4. BE THE SOURCE OF UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. What your child needs to know is that whatever the outcome, your love will never change. Be quick to comfort them after a bad game. Criticism can come later. You want to be the first person, not the last person they run to when things aren’t going their way.
5. GIVE THE CHILD SOME SPACE. A parent with a 7 year old on the (golf)course is cute. A parent following his 17 year old child’s every move is nakaka-ta-cute. (Sorry… I just had to put it in there.)
6. GIVE EXTRA UNDERSTANDING. – Understand your child’s motivation for playing golf… or any sport for that matter. It’s easy to assume that your dreams and aspirations are the same as his. Be careful not to let your own frustrations as an athlete cloud your judgement.
7. CHECK INTERNAL MOTIVES. Are you there because your child wants you to be a part of it? Or is it because his(child) success somehow helps you feel more accomplished?
My 12-year old daughter Chelsea plays for the high school volleyball team of International Christian Academy. I can’t tell you how proud I am as a father. But I have to constantly remind myself that this is her journey, not mine. I truly hope that I don’t become the parent I described in the first part of this article. But should I fail, I trust that you’ll remind me about what i’ve written here.”