Sports parents tend to feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. That often leads to running marathon days like they are a sprint, which is quite stressful.
No one ever said that being a parent is easy. But being the parent of a student-athlete can present its own challenges, making free time rare and days stressful. The daily grind can include driving to practices, washing uniforms, watching grades, traveling for games, managing expenses, maintaining equipment, dealing with injuries, attending fundraisers and searching for colleges, among other things.
With all that effort, it’s understandable that stress is a common but unwanted byproduct in the household of sports parents. So, what can sports parents do about stress? Here are a few suggestions:
LESS PHONE TIME, LESS NOISE
Don’t underestimate the power of a little more music in your day. Music can be a quick mood changer and stress reducer. Tune in when you first wake up, are fighting traffic or dealing with pre-game anticipation. Try creating a playlist of the music that offers you a calming break from the daily noise and distraction.
AVOID THE 'COMMON CARRIERS'
Sometimes they are in the bleachers, sometimes they might be in a Facebook group. These are people who may not have the healthiest approach to youth sports and only seem to add to your stress.
Often, they’re focused on the negative – we need a better coach, training facilities, officiating, etc. The grass is always greener no matter where they stand. So avoid standing in the same place as they do.
TAKE A MINUTE TO BREATHE
Spots parents tend to feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day. That often leads to running marathon days like they are a sprint, which is quite stressful. According to the non-profit American Institute of Stress (AIS) one of the easiest and most effective “Super Stress Busters” out there is breathing.
So just take some time out of your day to take deep, mindful breaths and shake off some of that stress.
DON’T OWN ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY
One of the greatest benefits of playing sports in high school is that it is a perfect opportunity for young adults to take on more responsibility and establish a little more independence. In fact, when it comes to recruiting, college coaches love to see student-athletes who demonstrate they can stand on their own two feet and are not so reliant on mom and dad.
GET TO KNOW THE COLLEGE RECRUITING PROCESS
For some student-athletes it’s not size, grades or talent that keeps them from playing at the college level — it’s that they didn’t know enough about how the recruiting process works.
The more you understand about how recruiting works, the variety of opportunities that are available and your child’s college goals, the easier it is to put a plan in place that will lead to a college roster spot.