20 Ways to Be a Better Sports Parent in 2023

Asia Mape, founder of I Love to Watch You Play, shares some resolutions to last the whole year long.

Asia Mape

| 5 min read


  1. I will keep quiet after games. Unless I’m asked my opinions about how they played or observations about the game, I will keep to myself.
  2. I will not care more about my kids’ success in their sport than they do. They will drive their own bus – however much they want to push, I will help them achieve their goals. But the motivating force will be them, not me.
  3. I will be less critical and uptight while watching them play and try to emit only positive energy during games.
  4. I will not over-analyze their coaches. They will have great, good, and bad coaches throughout their sporting careers. I will not make it my job to fix this when it’s not ideal.
  5. Our family will play together more and find unique ways to workout together. We will do more fun outdoor activities like hiking and running and playing sports together, just for fun.
  6. I will be a better role model by eating healthier, working out more and getting off my devices more often – instead of just demanding they do.
  7. I will make injury prevention a priority. With so many practices and games, we spend too much time on performance and not enough time on making sure their growing bodies are taken care of properly. Each of my kids has a program for stretching and building strength in weak and overused areas, but we can never find the time to do the 15-minute regimens. I will work this into their schedules.
  8. I will allow them the freedom to fail. Instead of always trying to be one step ahead of their next misstep, I will sit back more and allow them to experience natural consequences, both positive and negative, of their choices.
  9. I will find more time or make the time for more important pursuits like spiritual, altruistic and fun. Sports has swallowed up the time we used to make for volunteering, religious endeavors, and simply finding hobbies our kids enjoy.
  10. I will not overanalyze their food and sleep like they are competing in an Olympic event instead of a youth soccer game.
  11. I will not give them grief for wanting to take a day off or even a week off. Instead, I will have real discussions about what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling that way and try to develop solutions that work for them.
  12. I will value artistic and creative pursuits of my children the same as I do their athletic. And this won’t be passive; it will be actively choosing to have the same interest and support in whatever my children pursue.
  13. I will learn and understand more about their sport and their position, instead of ignorantly commenting on things I’m only guessing about.
  14. I will stop spending a small fortune on their sports. Some are fixed costs, like club dues, gear and travel costs. But I will do my best to reduce spending on private lessons and take advantage of what the teams have to offer for extra training and additional practices instead of privates. I will also make them more accountable for their stuff – water bottles, sweatshirts, balls, so we are not buying new ones constantly.
  15. I will not be a full-time chauffeur spending less time in the car and more time on things that are important to me as my work and getting into better shape. I will carpool more, create a more consistent schedule within my carpools, and work out during their practices.
  16. I will have more talks and check-ins about their dreams and goals to ensure we are aligned as a family and manage all of our expectations better.
  17. I will educate myself about the recruiting process for my youngest, so I can navigate it better than I did for my older daughter.
  18. I will be happy and excited regardless of the level they play at or the amount of playing time they get.
  19. I will fight FOMO and will not always think the grass is always greener with other teams. They will own their own journeys and choices, and I will be their #1 cheerleader.
  20. I will tell them I 💛 to watch them play, consistently, instead of what they need to do better.

Asia Mape is the founder of ILovetoWatchYouPlay.com, a site for parents who want to raise happy, healthy and successful athletes. This post originally appeared on that site.

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