PARENT ROLE: The parents role in the process is crucial. Parents provide the support system, determine the tone, and are the major influencer of the player's environment during their youth sporting career and even beyond.
How parents interaction with the challenges faced by the player, empathize with the player, empathize with the coach, and respond to varying degrees of perceived success, perceived failure, and perceived development are mission critical to the ultimate experience the player will achieve while playing. I Love to Watch You Play offers some parental advice here.
Some key reminders that can help the process:
1. Remind the player that failure and success are never "final". Of course "giving up" can become "fatal".
2. Nurture the idea that whether it is perceived success or perceived failure derived from the coach's evaluation that neither "define" the player and ultimately that evaluation remains an "opinion".
3. Do NOT over celebrate making the team. Instead remind the child the next step is to find out how she/he can contribute to the shared goals and vision of the team and team's staff.
4. Do NOT over analyze the situation, and guard against making informed decisions inside the emotions that may manifest if your child is not selected to the team they prefer or the team you prefer. Remember your child is resilient. It is often much more difficult for adults than the child to adapt to the next steps of after an expectation goes unmet.
5. Help your child communicate with the coach if the child is 13U and older. If the child is 15U and older we believe it should be expected that the player is in communication with the coach directly with the parent's support. At 13U and 14U we believe the parent should play the larger role, but allow the child to be a part. At 11U and 12U we believe the primary communication should happen between the parent and the coach on behalf of the child. Remember, that in failure or success, it is also important and of highest order, that the child is LEARNING how to manage emotions, communication, responses, and decisions.