Sports parenting is easier said than done. It’s difficult to watch our kids play a sport and not have any control over the outcome. And it’s challenging to stay calm and supportive while helping our kids navigate the terrain of choices available to them. However, if done properly, this experience can be very rewarding.
So hang on, and get ready for a wild, unpredictable ride! This book was written by sports parents and experts forsports parents.
Praise for #HeySportsParents
Dr. Jennifer Fraser
#Heysportparents! doesn’t skip over challenging topics like sports and drugs, concussions, and parents who are “overly zealous.” It gives practical advice on nutrition, safety, and the challenging time of college recruiting. The holistic approach is refreshing and the book is punctuated by hilarious, thought-provoking cartoons. In the first of three sections, Sharkie Zartman offers smart, clear advice. She returns the importance of character-building to the sporting enterprise which reminds us that’s what parenting should be about too.
What I also like is how Sharkie doesn’t mince words. She’s straight to the point: protect your child from abusive coaching, watch out for the dangers of overtraining, burnout, and specializing too soon. These are the issues that strip the fun out of sport and can potentially harm kids. Sharkie jumps right in and deals with them in an honest and child-oriented way. One of the most powerful pieces of advice: listen to what children tell you and respond to their needs as opposed to your own. Sharkie cuts to the chase when she lets parents know that Division 1 coaches have been known to drop a prospect because the parents are such an issue. It’s this honesty from a former professional athlete, coach, parent of elite athletes, and founder of a sports program that makes the book so valuable.
Sharkie’s comments on sexual abuse are forthright and powerful as it puts the onus firmly on parents and sport organizations to ensure it does not happen. #Heysportsarents! Is clearly organized so the book can be used as a reference throughout a parent’s experience with their children playing sports.
The second section is by sports medicine specialist Dr. Robert Weil and is equally strong. His approach is also holistic and covers all angles from the mental game of sport performance to a focus on athletes’ feet and ankles as the key to balance and stability. He offers sharp reminders to snap parents out of normalizing behaviour that is unhealthy for children. Case in point: using pain meds or anti-inflammatories to keep athletes playing. Dr. Weil says absolutely NOT. His focus is on rest and rehabilitation. He replaces go-to cures such as icing with up-to-date research and approaches to healing acute injuries. He dares to say bottom line: football, at any age, is not safe. This is why I like this book. It puts kids first. It informs parents on so many different issues and angles and helps them to be the best parent they can be, even when put in the pressure-cooker of having children in sports.
Finally, the third section draws from a number of experts, who are followed by parents who have survived and can tell true tales of struggle and triumph. These short, informed articles finish this excellent book off ideally. You feel at the end as if you are not alone and other parents have paved the way to truly supporting their kids in the sporting world which means you can too. I highly recommend #Heysportsparents! It is a great resource for parents, but also for coaches and sport administrators.