Some parents just can’t let go of the past


Sports Illustrated via Getty Ima

High School Football: McKinley High QB Josh McDaniels (12) with coach, his father Thom McDaniels on sidelines after losing game with overtime point after tochdown by Massillon HS at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. 100th annual game of rivalry. Masillion, OH 11/5/1994 CREDIT: Lynn Johnson (Photo by Lynn Johnson /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) (Set Number: X47246 TK2 )

Why do you play a sport? Especially at the high school level, it is a huge time commitment and can even hurt your academic performance with everything on your plate. So, if you dedicate nearly ten or more hours a week to the sport, it must mean that you love it, right? Well, I hate to say this, but not everyone loves the sport he or she plays. Many never did.

Parents are either your number one supporter or your biggest enemy. When it comes to sports, this is no different. First and foremost, I do believe putting your child into a sport is a good thing. In fact, it should be essential for every parent to do so, or at least when your child is still in elementary school you should. 

Unfortunately, some parents don’t give their kids much of a choice. A significant reason for behavior like this is so that parents can go back in time and peak in high school once again vicariously through their children. Instead of helping their kid find a hobby, they focus more on putting the kid into the sport that they played. These are the same parents who claim their son or daughter will play at the Division I level, even if the kid hates the sport he or she is stuck in.

Once athletes make it to the middle school level, it should be their choice to continue or drop the sports they play. One of the most difficult parts of high school is finding out who you are and what you love. Parents should be assisting their kids through that stage where they build their character and define who they are. 

This topic hits home on a personal level to me, not because I was a kid forced into sports, but because of the numerous kids I have grown up with being great people with kind hearts. However, after a parent steps in telling a kid how to live his or her life, the child will do one of two things: The first, the child will engage in rebellious behavior in spite of the parent or he or she will simply see himself or herself as above everyone, just as his or her mom and/or dad tells him or her he or she is.

As much as I love FHC, our school is no different. Across all sports at FHC, some athletes see themselves as “greater” than people who play less popular sports or none at all. Many dads show up to our football games to see their kids play but not to support the athlete, but rather so the dad can wish he was back in high school.

Believe it or not, an athlete can remain humble and be kind to others while loving his or her sport. That is only possible if the athlete’s parents aren’t trying to live in the “glory days” again. Parents of FHC, you know if I am talking about you, and if  so, have a discussion with your kid and ask whether he or she truly loves the sport, or are you just signing him or her up for your own twisted leisure?