Do Parents Push Their Kids Too Far in Sports?

by omill2 on Mars 24, 2014 - 1:00pm

Playing a sport as a child is a fun experience to meet new friends, develop social skills and learn more about a sport that interests you. Parents love to be a part of their child’s life, whether it is education, sports or friends, especially when they are young, but some parents take their child’s sport too far and get involved too much. Youth Sport Parenting Styles and Practices is a research article about how parenting styles influence a child experience while playing a sport. In this article by N. Holt and his colleagues describes the different parenting styles and how each style affects their child in a sport (2009). There are supportive parents and parents who are overly involved in their child’s sport and have very high expectations (Holt, 2009). The theory that N. Holt and his colleagues came up with while conducting this research, was that children reported high levels of athlete success and motivation when they received positive feedback from their parents (2009). Holt describes in the article that there are mainly two types of parenting, Responsiveness and Demandingness (2009). Responsiveness is parents who are supportive and respond to their child’s needs. Demandingness refers to parents who are controlling, supervise their children carefully and expect orders to be obeyed without having to explain them (Holt, 2009). The method used in this research was observation and conducted interviews over one summer soccer season. There were thirty couples and two non-divorced remarried couples, all with female children and the result of this experiment was that thirty-two parents had supportive parenting styles (Holt, 2009). They were involved in their child’s lives but were not controlling. During an interview, one of the fathers explained that he tried to leave decisions up to them, rather than forcing what they can and can’t do (Holt, 2009).
The main purpose of this research article is to show how different parenting styles can influence the experience a child has playing a sport. From my own experience, if parents put too much pressure on their kid to play exceptionally well, they won’t enjoy it as much. The child will be too busy trying to impress their parents and to be good enough for them, they will not be able to have fun and that is what playing a sport at a young age all is about. This research article proves that children will be more successful, confident and have more motivation to play, if their parents are supportive and give them positive comments. Some parents out there are too controlling and don’t realize that they have a young child playing the sport, not an adult or even teenager training to be a professional or trying to play in college. I think it is great when parents get involved in their child’s sports, it means they care, but sometimes parents can push it too far ruining it for their child.

Holt, N., Tamminen, K., Black, D., Mandigo, J., Fox, K. (2009). Youth sport parenting styles and practices. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 31(1), 37-59

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