Avoiding the “Parent Trap”: kids, parents, sports, and the psychology behind it all

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – It’s that time of year! Sports programs are back in full swing.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital has a Sports Rehabilitation Program that includes not only orthopedic, muscular and post-concussion services, but also sports psychology that’s aimed at parents and players.

In studio, we had Dr. Eddie O’Connor who is the clinical sports psychologist for the Mary Free Bed program.

>>> Take a look in the video above.

Dr. O’Connor, what’s the role of a sports psychologist?

  • Specialize in removing barriers that get in the way of peak performance
  • Work with parents, children, schools and teams

Are there things parents do that are counterproductive for their kids?

The 3 big negative behaviors are:

  • Coaching from the sidelines
  • Yelling at the referees
  • Saying unproductive things on the car ride home

It’s a problem for several reasons:

  • It distracts kids
  • Can be confusing and the advice and be different from what the coach says
  • Creates pressure, expectations and fear of failure

What should parents do instead?

  • Be attentive but quiet
  • Cheer good plays by both teams
  • Give them time and space to think and learn and make mistakes
  • Allow the coach do his/her job
  • Reinforce effort – it is what they can control and leads to success in everything

 

Are there any universal things to say to your kids?

Before games:

  • Have fun
  • Play hard
  • I love you

After games:

  • Did you have fun?
  • I’m proud of you
  • I love you
  • Anytime: “I love to watch you play.”

Free program

Raising Champions: A Parent’s Role in Their Child’s Success

  • September 18
  • 6:30pm – 7:30 pm
  • Mary Free Bed in the Conference Center
  • 350 Lafayette SE

For more information call 616-840-8128