When it comes to your kids playing sports, you’re likely going to find yourself involved right along with them. Whether you’re shuttling them to practice, showing up to every game, watching them play in your driveway at home or chatting with the coach about their skill level, you are probably feeling just as involved as they are when it comes down to it.

Now that the season is well underway, it’s probably time to take a few minutes and reflect on the level of your involvement… Are you one of those parents who are actually a little TOO involved? Or is it the opposite, and you’re not quite involved enough? It’s a hard balance to keep, and an even harder thing to recognize in yourself.

We’ve put together a list made just for parents. Where do you fall on the range of too involved or not involved enough plus ideas ideas on how to bridge the gap!

Did you know that Burlington Basketball offers house league play and supports rep competitive basketball programs? As a community organization focused on team and community building, we’re all about youth health, wellness and having FUN!

Signs you might be an over involved parent

  • Using statements like ‘WE won’ and ‘WE made it to finals’
  • Putting too much emphasis on the outcome of the game, not the fun your kids are having or the skills they’re learning
  • Making your feelings and goals more important than theirs
  • Setting goals for your kids
  • Expecting that your child is going to be the next Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, without acknowledging the strides they’re making in their own game
  • Pushing them too hard because YOU think they should be ready for it, not because they or their coach suggests it
  • You compete with other parents about the accomplishments of your kids
  • Trying to speed up their skill development, sometimes against their coach’s advice
  • You hire special trainers and coaches, thinking they need one on one training to reach their potential
  • You find yourself coaching- loudly- from the sidelines

Signs you might be an under involved parent

  • You don’t know what position they play
  • You can’t tell the difference between a layup, free throw or dunk
  • A phone call or text message takes precedence over what’s happening on the court
  • You have only a vague idea what the practice and game schedule is
  • You don’t know who the coach is
  • Your child has stopped offering details about game scores, skill progression and team stats

How to find a middle ground

There are a few steps you can take in order to find a middle ground for yourself. Being an ‘involved’ parent that isn’t too invested or not invested enough is the best way to ensure your child is most set up for success both on and off the court.

  • Don’t offer criticism unless they ask – Waiting until they ask for advice is a great way to keep lines of communication open and build trust.
  • Support the whole team – Recognize that the game is a team effort, and that your child isn’t the only one making great plays.
  • Show up consistently and without expectation – Make it clear that you’re not just coming to watch them win, you’re there to show your support regardless of the outcome.
  • Let the coaches do the coaching – They are with your child every practice and game, so are in tune with how to push them to do their best.
  • Encourage fun – When fun is the main goal, your child is going to be more engaged and committed to sticking with the sport.

Get involved… But not too involved!

When it comes to your child’s sports career, finding a balance in how involved you are can be a difficult process. After reading this post, take some time to evaluate where you stand and see if you need to make any changes in your role. If you’re still unsure, maybe try talking to your child and see what they think about it all!