I believe every parent whose child participates in sports should read this booklet. I’ve done my best to make it fun and easy to read. While I touch on some tough issues, I trust the humor will put a smile on your face. Remember, this is not an exhaustive study of each topic we touch. If something I’ve written makes you stop and think, then I would encourage you to research it more in depth.
Just in case you haven’t heard or seen, sports have become a huge part of our society. Youth sports programs have grown so large that it takes up a great part of our children’s lives for most of their preteen years. While programs have grown, so have the issues and it’s time to address a number of them. Therefore, one of many reasons for this booklet.
Before I go any further let me tell you a little about myself. I love sports, all sports, well almost all sports, now days there are some things called sports that are borderline as far as I’m concerned, but I won’t get into that. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood and most of them center around sports. You know what I mean, playing catch with my dad, tossing the football around, and roller skating as a family. Those will never go away and I wanted that for my children. That’s one reason I encouraged them to participate in organized sports from a young age. I desired them to have those memories about us, like I did with my dad.
As a parent I was blessed as they made all-star teams, played on travel teams, played through high school and college. We had great family times together. Those are etched in our minds forever; no one can take those memories away. I learned so much from these many adventures, not only about myself, and other parents, but the impact sports can have on these young adults, both good and bad. That’s another reason I need to write it down.
I’ve coached at different levels leading up to college. I’ve sat on Boards, raised funds, been involved with boosters and most anything else you can think of. I’ve traveled across this beautiful country with teams and parents. Yes I’ve been a parent in the stands, (and at times not a very good one, sorry coach), a coach in the dugout, had disagreements with parents, officials and anyone who would listen, lol. So, yes I have been where you are right now and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The last reason I wrote this booklet is that I want you as a parent to enjoy your time with your children. I am older now and spend a lot of time reflecting on those days we had together and I know they do too.
So, sit back, grab a cup of coffee or a Starbucks and enjoy, but most of all, learn from others mistakes and don’t do what we’ve done.