Sharon DeVellis: Inside Scoop


How NOT To Raise A Successful Athlete

No, Seriously. You Need To Stop Doing This.

Yell At Them

Make sure you yell at your kids to play/work harder. Like, really loud. Also, be sure to yell at them when they make a bad play or aren’t doing something properly. They probably don’t realize they’ve made a mistake, so it’s up to you to point it out. Loudly.

Note: Sometimes your kids are working so hard they can’t hear you, so it’s important you yell louder.

Point Out What They’ve Done Wrong

The minute your children come out of the change room from a grueling practice or game, be sure to point out everything they did wrong. It’s important for them to know RIGHT AWAY, especially when they're exhausted. Never, ever tell your children what they did right. If they're doing it right, it doesn’t need your attention. Focus on the negative so they can get better.

Be A Coach First, A Parent Second

Sure, they already have a coach, but what does he know? You’re up in the stands watching so you can see everything. Plus, you’ve even participated in the sport once or twice yourself. That makes you an expert. Don’t cheer for your children when you can be telling them what to do.

See: "Yell At Them" above.

Don’t Let Them Have Any Outside Interests

Your children committed to this sport and damn it they should be spending all their spare time working on ways to get better. Having friends and outside interests will just interfere with that. Their lives must revolve around the sport and the people involved. Outside influences will only distract them from their goal.

Make Them Work Through An Injury

Having to sit on the sidelines while an injury heals is for the weak. Why, just last week you typed a whole report with a splinter in your thumb. It’s mind over matter and your kids need to learn that.

Make Your Children’s Dreams Your Own

Sure, you had your opportunity to be a world famous athlete, but for one reason or another it didn’t pan out. Don’t be sad! Because being the parent of successful athlete is SO MUCH BETTER. It’s way less work and you still get the glory.

So be sure to squash any notions of your children giving up. They just doesn’t understand how great it will be when your….errrrr….their dreams finally comes true.


Note: While this piece was written tongue-in-cheek about raising an athlete, it actually applies to every parent of a child who is in sports. In my years of supporting my boys’ athletic endeavours, I have seen great parent behaviour and atrocious parent behaviour. The list you just read is only some of the atrocious parent behaviour I have seen. If you're a parent who has done any of these things, please stop. Seriously, you're embarrassing yourself and ruining your children in the process.

Your children are involved in sports because they love it. For crap sakes, simply let them enjoy it.

It's not your job as a parent to make your children the best, it's your job to help them always do their best. You had your shot at becoming the best {insert your dream here} and it didn’t happen. Get over it and stop trying to live vicariously through your kid.


Hey! Since you're no longer trying to live vicariously through your child, why not try one of these sports. Or how about making life fun and enjoying time with your family with these Ten Easy Ways To Get Active With Your Kids.