Sports Parent's Role: The Cheering Section
Dragonwing girlgear's mission is to "empower girls to play - and be - their best" with the highest quality sports apparel for tween and teen girls. I believe we can advance that mission when we encourage parents to support their athletic daughters at every level of competition. Over the past seven years, I have seen all sorts of behavior from parents at summer swim meets. In our city, summer swim is a rec league sport, or to put it bluntly, no college coach is going to scout a swimmer at summer meet. Summer swim is meant to be fun, build teamwork, develop sportsmanship, and teach leadership. We all love to win, but at the end of the night, the score is really not that important. I'm proud to say that our summer swim team is known throughout the league for good sportsmanship. The coaches receive numerous emails from opponents about how well our kids behave and that is a BIG point of pride for us. However, it's past time for many parents to step up and learn to be good sports parents. Parents need to learn that our children are not miniature versions of ourselves. They are their own unique individuals, with their own sets of skills, abilities, likes and dislikes. I nearly drowned as a child and have a very healthy fear of water. I have to be coaxed into a pool. My daughter lives to swim. Go figure. Our job as parents is to get our young athletes to practice or competition on time, with the right gear, fed and hydrated appropriately. It involves planning, logistics, lots of laundry, and teaching organization and time management to older kids. The coach's job is to coach. He or she generally knows more about the sport than any parent does. It is his or her job to take a group of kids with different abilities and personalities and teach them to work as a team. Even if you were a high school or college athlete, it's time now to stay on the sidelines and support your growing athlete. Cheer for her and cheer for her teammates. Offer support and encouragement. And enjoy!