Sports provide so many great lessons and experiences, and as a parent, you want to do whatever you can to see your child succeed at them. However, some types of parents can ruin those positive moments by being too controlling or aggressive.

Use these tips on being a good sports parent to do what’s appropriate and helpful for your child.

Practice With Your Child

For a child to perform better in their sport, they must practice at home. Whether you have played the sport or not, you can still help them conquer their athletic goals. You can get balls for lacrosse in bulk and play catch with them, grab a basketball and shoot some hoops, or even watch film with your child.

Do Your Homework

If you’re not familiar with the sport your child plays, invest some time and learn about it.

Catch some games on TV and do some research so that you can become more interested and pick up on things that can help your child succeed. Also look into how you can help your child advance their skill level by researching travel teams, camps, etc.

Be Positive

Playing sports is full of lows—that’s just part of it. A great way to be a supportive sports parent is to help your child through tough moments.

Continue to encourage them and be positive about bad losses or plays; confidence is key in sports, and it’s very easy for young athletes to be negative.

You can also be a positive role model in everyday life by showing them how to handle stressful situations so that they pick up helpful traits and work it into their game.

Give Them Space

While encouragement is welcome, don’t be that over-the-top parent who yells at referees and coaches. Give your child space when it comes to sports, and don’t try to live through them.

Be there for them when they need it, but in general, stay out of the game—it’s about the children, not you. Parents have an appropriate place when it comes to their children’s involvement in sports, and you don’t want to cross that line into helicopter parenting territory.


You may think kids don’t care whether or not their parents attend their games, but they do—and they notice. Be present in your child’s sports career and try to make as many games as you can to cheer them on.

This will motivate your child to play better—if they know you’re there, they’ll be more eager to make you proud.

You can also stay involved by participating in team fundraisers, providing snacks, and driving your child’s teammates to practices and games—you could even volunteer to pick up their teammates.

If you do so, make sure you keep your car clean so that germs don’t spread and so that you have plenty of room for everyone’s equipment.


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