The St. Louis Cardinals have a few words of advice for helicopter parents who might get too involved with their child’s participation in sports.
Players Trevor Rosenthal, Adam Wainwright and Kolten Wong were recently asked by KMOX in St. Louis to give their thoughts on sports parents. The rocky relationship between coaches and parents, along with the pressure parents place on their kids, has become a major issue in recent years.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has been outspoken about youth sports and combative parents. In 2009, when a group of parents tried to recruit Matheny to coach a youth baseball team, he wrote a letter that outlined the conditions under which he would accept the job.
Wong, Wainwright and Rosenthal agreed that parents need to be more supportive and less controlling. Here are a few of their comments:
“Be available to play outside with them when they want to work on something,” Rosenthal said. “But at the same time, give them room, give them space, let their coaches do their job.”
“You gotta understand that your kid has to find the love for the game on their own,” Wong said. “You can’t force him to have it, or you can’t force him to be a player he’s not. Just let him enjoy the game, have fun and eventually he’ll find his own path.”
“Want them to want to be out there,” Wainwright said. “I played with kids that loved baseball until their dad made them play spring, summer, fall and winter baseball, and had them hitting 100 swings in the cage every day.
“The role of the parent is huge because you can be encouraging and you can be such a positive influence in helping them achieve their goals. Or you can be the opposite.”
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