What Are The Best Ways to Support a Student Athlete?

Posted on September 3, 2015 by Nate Regier / 1 comments
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School is back in session. That means Fall sports. I’m a father of three daughters who play volleyball so this is my favorite time of year! And it can be stressful for all of us.

School sports is a terrific way for young people to develop physically, mentally, and socially. Learning new skills, playing as part of a team, and experiencing competition are important life skills. And it can be a terrifying and stressful time as well. Fear of rejection is everywhere. Body image and physical abilities are magnified. Locker room gossip creates drama.

Supporting your student athlete is a big responsibility. Here are some dos and don’ts for helping your child athlete make the most of this Fall sports season.

DosDontsAthletesThese tips are about compassionate accountability, which means equal measures of caring, curiosity, and consistency. It means helping your child without rescuing them, supporting them without joining them in gossip, and holding them accountable without compromising their dignity and your relationship.

Practice these tips to have a more enjoyable Fall sports season and do your part to make it a great one for your child as well.

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Sue Ann
Posted on September 4, 2015

Recently, I have come across some thinking about college students and their parents. See http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/06/09/what-overparenting-looks-like-from-a-stanford-deans-perspective/

We encouraged our kids to do sports and music because it was good for their minds and bodies, but also because, like it or not, we had to sit in the stands or the audience. It was their show.


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Nate Regier
Posted on September 8, 2015

Sue, thank you for sharing this link. I’d encourage all parents to read this article. The development of self-efficacy is a big focus for us at Next Element. In my book, Beyond Drama: Transcending Energy Vampires, I dedicate a section to discussing the difference between self-esteem (bad), and self-efficacy (good). I think that the way many parents are involved in their children’s lives, especially around sports, doesn’t help them develop self-efficacy. It’s more of a co-dependent thing where the parents’ identity is wrapped up in their child’s success and the child is being taught to please mom and dad. This is a far cry from the sand-lot pick up games of yore.

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