As the North Branford Thunderbird Cheerleaders start their competition season, I have been looking back over the past year. I am always amazed at how the parents, the unsung heroes of the school sports and activities community, constantly step up to the plate to support their children. I am also astonished at the coaches and leaders, that skilled group of individuals, who take every child and turn them into something special – an athlete, a performer, a team player – while juggling jobs, school and personal time.
However, I am also aware (sometimes painfully), that there are a few individuals who believe that they know better than the coaches and leaders, and are insistent upon making their opinions known. I have unfortunately seen how detrimental this is, to the children who are approached directly by the ‘well-meaning’ parents, the children of the parents who would really rather that the ‘well-meaning’ parent please not say anything, and to the coaches or leaders who have enough stress trying to transform a bunch of individuals into a cohesive team or group, pulling out the best in every one of those individuals.
Our coaches and leaders are hired because of their skills and they know their job. If the parent believes that their own child is having trouble, by all means approach the coach or leader but please do NOT try to tell them how to do their job. In addition, approaching the children on the sports or activities team and airing opinions is highly detrimental – the children take direction from the coaches and all the ‘well-meaning’ parent is doing is casting seeds of doubt on the performance in the minds of the children.
The best thing that parents can do is to support their children, be the ‘taxi’, support the fundraising activities, pay for all the items that go along with the sport or activity – but NOT to tell the coach/leader what they should be doing, nor to tell the team or group what they should be doing.
Here is my plea to those ‘well-meaning’ parents – PLEASE STOP.