Parental Pressure In Student Sports

Ever have parents yelling from the sidelines or through the fence during one of your best games? Many parents want their kids to succeed but push them too hard and too much. Some parents don’t realize is that they are actually harming their kids not helping, parents think it’s support but kids think it’s pressure. Parental pressure does affect student athletics because some feel like failures others get burnout by the time college comes around. Parental pressure is why many kids don’t play anymore.

According to Hyman, “By age 13 most kids are done with sports because of the pressure from parents, and are frustrated by the extra hard leagues or the coach and parents who put winning first” (Hyman). Parents don’t think we do our best but we really do. Trying your best is the only thing you can do but “Just because we don’t succeed on the field doesn’t mean we’re not doing our best we can. Remember it’s supposed to be fun” (Wolff and Groehner). Sports are supposed to be fun for everyone but sometimes they can be taken too far.

As an athlete I know the feeling, “Children feel that they are letting their parents down if they don’t excel in sports” (Mansfield). I feel that I have let my parents down when I do not play the best I can. But not every game can be the best. Parents force their kids to play sports that they have played when they were in high school. Parents have played the same sports and have earned a high level in the sport. They want their kids to follow in the same footsteps. Often because brothers and sisters are successful and the younger child feels pressured to live up to their older sibling’s accomplishments.

Not only in their family, but in their schools and communities as well. When it comes to the topic of “Parents of young athletes who are successful in the early years too often get the notion that their child can and will become a pro athlete” (Wagner). Most of us will agree that “Teens and young adults feel like failures when they let their parents down, but it’s even worse when they let them down in something like sports, which our society glorifies and publicizes” (Mansfield).

Where this argument usually ends; however, is on the question of do “Parents need to let the kids pick which sports they want to play, most parents tell the kids what they will play” (Hyman). Whereas some are convinced that “Children need at least one month out of the year of a break of sports” (Hyman). Children today are under a huge amount of pressure when it comes to sports. From score rankings, grades to play, parents yelling and coaches saying the play. Madison, a ten-year-old girl on my sister’s basketball team, complains that, “I hate when parents tell us to do the exact opposite of what the coach says.

The child has to decide whether they are going to listen to the coach or their parents because the parents will be mad if they didn’t do what they said. But the coach could be always have the child sit out because they didn’t listen to what he or she was saying. Another girl on the basketball team states that “Sometimes parents try to coach when they are not trained as a coach or walk off the court with a lot of drama and irritation. ” Children understand that parents want them to do well but coaches and players have to figure out what they will do.

Parents yelling can interfere with the coach and the play that they are trying to set up. Many lose interest in high school because parents are too controlled during sports and they play too much and they need a break. Not only do athletes face pressure from parents during the game, but they also face pressure before and after. It puts more stress and pressure when parents talk about how well an athlete will do. “During car rides to games, listening to parents remind us how to do this or that in the game, can be boring” (Wolff and Groehner).

If a child gets bored just talking about the game, most likely it’s just going to make them even more nervous and puts more pressure on them if they don’t do what the parents say. “My dad comes to watch all my games. On the way to the games, he gives me tips on how to improve my play or position. ” Tips can help rather than having parents force things to happen. Sometimes we can’t always do the play they suggest. Tips are just ideas, so if the chance occurs to do that play. Athletes can confuse tips with directions and expectations.

Athletes feel that if that don’t perform up to their parents expectations they will let them down, and no one wants to be stressed out before the game ever starts because parents put too much pressure on kids. Too much pressure on athletes can have a bad effect. Some of the effects can turn into very serious issues. “Today’s athletes start earlier than ever, with kids as young as 2 or 3 taking sports lessons and joining leagues by age 5. About 26. 1 million children, more than half of all 6 to 17 year-olds, suit up and play a team sport” (Hyman).

At the age of 2 or 3 toddlers can get hurt way too easily. At the age most don’t have a concept of what is going on during the game. Parents have too much control in our sports, the two and three year olds don’t need to be playing yet. It’s the parents that force the kids to play at that age” (Hyman). When I started sports I was five, maybe that was too young in some peoples eyes, but I was also forced to play. I had no idea what softball was till I started playing. But now it’s my favorite sport and the only sport I do. Some parents focus their kids to play one sport all year around.

I did that for two years, I needed a break, it got boring after awhile. Mark Hyman believes that, “Girls are less interested than boys in having parents involved in their sports lives” (Hyman). Half of the girls don’t want parents to coach, one third don’t want advice and 78% don’t want their parents to tell coaches anything” (Wagner). We are afraid coaches will say something to us and punish us for what our parents say. As a girl, I agree with this statement because I don’t like people yelling at me while I’m playing a sport, it just makes me even more mad and I can’t focus on what I need to be focusing on.

While parents think they are helping their kids, they are just putting more pressure on their players. “When we kids are focused on the action on the field, we don’t hear Mom and Dad cheer for us, no matter how loud they are” (Wolff and Groehner). Cheering is okay but yelling not so much. When Mom and Dad yell it just makes us even more nervous because what if we mess up. What if we don’t do the right play? “Kids feel uncomfortable and embarrassed when parents yell at them because they didn’t do the correct play” (Mansfield).

All parents want us to go far with our sports, but we all make mistakes even on the field and court. One parents know that it makes us feel uncomfortable, parents will only cheer. The yelling should be left for coaches, not the parents. While pressure from coaches is an expected part of athletics, adding parental pressure can cause an athlete to burn out too soon. If children don’t please their parents, parents aren’t happy and the child doesn’t want to play anymore. Putting too much pressure on kids can cause many bad things like not wanting to play anymore. Sports are and have been a huge part of my life.

Some of my favorite memories came from playing sports. I’ve made many friends from other schools through school sports. It is understandable that parents want to be a huge part of their child’s sport careers but sometimes they take it too far and get involved too much. By playing sports, kids get to learn to make split second decisions on the fly. For example, the athlete has to chose whether to throw to first base or second, slide or stay standing, run or pass, etc. It is important for parents to allow their children to make mistakes, so they can learn to make better decisions on their own.