Faith was in her basketball tournament yesterday. I listened to all these parents screaming for their kids. Me along with them. My screaming was more for the team. I know that my daughter is out there playing. I know she is trying to the best of her ability because of the conversation we had before the game.
Faith: “Mom, I want to prove that I’m a good basketball player to you.”
Me: “You are a good basketball player, Faith.”
Faith: “Mom, I want to prove it.”
Me: “How? What are you talking about?”
Faith: “I have to win this game so I can prove it.”
Me: “Faith, winning the game doesn’t prove you are a good basketball player. What prove you are a good basketball is you going out on that floor tonight and playing your very best. That’s all I need to see.”
Faith: “I don’t have to win?”
Me: “Faith, if you play your hardest then that’s good enough for me. If you win, that’s icing on the cake. Take usually takes the whole team to play their best. Can you play your best out there tonight?”
Faith: “Yes, I will. But I still want to win.”
This conversation was had as we drove to the tournament. We didn’t know that the lead player wouldn’t be there because she had the flu. We didn’t know that another player wouldn’t show up. The game was close. The other team had 8 players. We had 6. Our girls were tired. Truthfully, Faith was off on her game as well. She didn’t seem to be concentrating, defending or even touching the ball.
I saw one of our girls crying on the floor because of the pressure that was now being applied to her for being second best. That never happened before. Her dad is the assistant coach. She wanted to come off the floor when she was crying. He sent her out there anyway. Was that the right move? I don’t think so. Imagine the pressure he just put on her. She’s in fourth grade. It’s not about pressure at this age but there she goes.
I was sitting there thinking about the pressure that we put on our kids to perform because of him when I realized right next to me, my husband is screaming in my ear at Faith. He’s screaming louder than their coach. Do they need him to do that? Heck no. I told him to shut up. Did he? No.
I don’t show these things to Faith that I’m thinking but is that putting on the pressure to perform anyway?
So my question to you is… Why do parents pressure their child in sports?