Is social media ruining your youth sports experience?

JohnOSullivan-HeaderDo you get on Facebook, or Pinterest, or Instagram, and ever think to yourself “Everyone’s kid has a trophy, won their big game, and is having great success, but mine is not?” Does it drive you nuts when everyone else’s kids seem to be achieving something remarkable, or looking so happy, and you are stretched thin, stressed, or even burned out running from game to game?

Isn’t it frustrating comparing how you feel on the inside, to how everyone else looks on the outside on social media?

If so, it’s time to take a deep breath. I read this great article from Tim Elmore recently about the main cause of stress in our kids (unrealistic parental expectations), and it made me think of sports.This week I recorded a short video for you, where I discuss the dilemma of parenting young athletes in the age of social media, and give you a few tips on how to get more enjoyment, and less stress from sports. Wouldn’t it be nice if we did not feel the need to keep up with the Joneses, or worry that you are a bad parent because you have no pictures of 11 year old county champions to post this week. Enjoy.

A few takeaways from todays video:

•When we watch a musical, we see what is happening in front of the curtain, but we all know backstage it is chaotic. What we see on social media is front stage, but behind all those pretty pics is the same crazy life you are living. don’t compare your backstage to another person’s front stage!
•Learn to embrace your child’s struggles and failures, and ask yourself “what is good about this” instead of “what is wrong with him/her.”
•Be patient in watching your child develop. Talent development is not a straight line; it is messy, it ebbs and flows, and should not be judged by a week, a month or even a season of sports.
•Enjoy this time; it goes by really fast. Talk to parents who have already gone through the experience and ask them what they now think it important. It is usually NOT what they thought important when their child was younger.

As always, please share your comments, thoughts, and some ideas about how we can take some of the stress, and add some enjoyment, to our child’s childhood!