Sport Psychology 101: Examining the Bragging Sports Parent
While no sports parent ever sets out to be “that parent” when it comes to talking about their kid, we all know somebody who fits the braggart sports parent mold by boasting non-stop about their kid while showing little, if any, interest or attention to the efforts of the rest of the team. Of course, it’s never a bad thing to be proud of your child’s accomplishments (in sports as well as other life endeavors), but it’s also important to display your pride through modesty and humility. Unfortunately, when braggart sports parents regularly talk up their kids, it not only turns off other parents, but can even lead to problems with overall team chemistry.
In an effort to help parents minimize bragging while at the same time maximizing sportsmanship, a few sport psychology “Do’s & Dont’s” are provided below:
- Talk about your child’s team whenever possible! For example, talking about your current team winning streak comes across a lot better than bragging about just your child’s accomplishments.
- Talk about your child’s efforts rather than results, if possible. For example, telling friends about how hard your son is working this summer is a lot more interesting than boasting about how many home runs he has hit this season.
- Talk about the overall efforts made by other kids on the team, as well as the coaches. Mentioning to others how well the kids get along or the dedication shown by your child’s coaches sounds much better than only talking up your child’s individual contributions.
- Don’t boast about your child’s statistics, or how far he hit a ball, or how many touchdowns he scored.
- Don’t talk only about your child and at the expense of mentioning the efforts of others on the team. Starting out conversations like “My kid lead the team to victory” is never good thing.
- Don’t use words like “dominating” “awesome” “unstoppable” and “unbelievable” when talking about your child. Additionally, if others talk to you about your child in this way, simply thank them for the very kind words instead of emphatically agreeing with them.
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