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Top 10 Things Parents Don’t Get About Kids and Sports

article from 'Sports Illustrated'

1. During car rides to games or practice, kids don’t want you to tell them how to do this or that. "I am not stupid," said one 12-year-old. "I know how to play the sport I play.

2. Kids can get psyched for a game without your help. "I hate when parents say, ’Are you ready? We’re going to win,’ like they’re playing said one kid.

3. It’s your duty as a parent to sit quietly and watch your kid do wonderful things. Kids get bummed out when you miss games or yak it up too much with friends in the stands. "We’re sweating and playing the game, and they’re busy socializing," complained one girl.

4. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, kids don’t want you to talk. Typical comments: "Parents think they know the rules, but they don’t." "My mom asks annoying questions." And "I hate when my mom tells me to do things even when she doesn’t know the first thing about sports."

5. Even if you do know what you’re talking about, kids don’t want you to talk (unless you’re the coach). "I hate when parents tell us to do the exact opposite of what the coaches say," said one child. Added another: "If your parent isn’t the coach, he or she shouldn’t try to be one.

6. Kids wish you would practice what you preach about sportsmanship. "My mom always wants me to be a ’good sport,’ but a lot of the time she blames the loss on the ref," claimed one kid. "Arguing with the refs is not only embarrassing, but it takes up time," said another.

7. Kid’s often can’t hear you yelling when they’re concentrating on the game. Sometimes, they can. Either way, they don’t like it. "Parents yell advice you don’t hear because you’re so into playing the game. Afterward they say, ’Why didn’t you listen to me?’" complained one child. Said others: "I feel embarrassed when my parents yell so loud that the whole town can hear," and "They yell and scream and look like dorks."

8. After they lose, kids don’t want to be told it doesn’t matter. Typical reactions: "I hate when we get knocked out of the playoffs and my parents say, ’You’ll get them next time!’" and "When parents try to cheer you up after a loss, al they do is remind you of the score."

9. After they lose, kids don’t want to be told that it does matter. "Parents take losses harder than we do," wrote one boy. Advised one girl: "You win some; you lose some, no big deal! Get over it!"

10. Kids just want to have fun. Parents just don’t get this, kids say. Many kids say they would rather play on a losing team than sit on the bench on a winning one. Some would like to skip practice once in a while. "The thing that bugs me the most is that my parents take it too seriously," summed up one child. "They act like it’s school."