Parent’s Role in Youth Sports

Parent’s Role in Youth Sports

Youth Sports

While the role of a young athlete is to get chosen for their desired sports team or position, a parent’s role in youth sports is to help their child get the performance feedback they need throughout the season to become a stronger player.

After a sports evaluation, your child might be asking, “How could I have improved my defensive skills for better coverage of the ball?” or “How should I have positioned my hips and feet for a more powerful overhead pass?” While you may not have the golden answers to these questions right away, we discuss how you can get involved after your child’s sports evaluation.

Parent’s Role in Youth Sports: What Steps to Take After an Evaluation?

1. Ask open-ended questions to coaches

Ask detailed questions and gain as much insight into what factors led to your child being placed on a specific team or being assigned to a specific position. Parent-coach Q&A sessions don’t have to be limited to these two parties. Encourage your child to also attend the parent-coach session so they can gain an in-depth understanding of what they need to work on and ask any questions they might have themselves.

  • What skills did my child score below average on? And why?
  • What specific drills can my child work on to improve [insert skills]?
  • How often should my child be practicing [insert drills]?

2. Promote a positive mindset in your young athlete

Although your child might not have made their desired position on the team, this doesn’t mean that their tenacity or attitude needs to be lacking. Recognize that your child will need to take some time to process their feelings of disappointment; however, create an environment for them to quickly bounce back.

Remind them of the drills they need to work on, routinely review technique tips that their coach shared, and embody a cheerful spirit when dropping them off & picking them up from each practice: all signs of a great role model!

Soccer player on field

3. Regularly ask coaches for feedback

After a sports evaluation, you will likely have a laundry list of questions to ask your child’s coach. Once you get the answers you are looking for, don’t stop the conversation there.

Regularly check in with your child’s coach throughout the season (we recommend having at least three check-ins throughout the year) asking them for feedback on how your child is progressing. For example, if your child didn’t make their desired position on a basketball team, you can ask their coach how their dribbling, passing, and shooting skills are developing and what they can work on to improve.

4. Request an updated evaluation method

As many coaches are still using an archaic pen-and-paper evaluation method, evaluation data has a better chance of being lost or misused. Therefore, when it comes time for you to ask for questions or feedback, coaches will have a difficult time gathering that data and relaying that information to you.

SkillShark is the first affordable tool of its kind that allows player data to be entered by coaches for any sport directly into the app. Once player data is uploaded, individual athlete reports are instantly generated and made available for coaches to share. Parents and players are no longer kept in the dark, and the overall athlete experience is enhanced!

Wrapping Up

A good sports parent can provide emotional support and encourage skill development by being involved in youth sports. Through attending games, promoting a positive attitude, and guiding youth athletes to skills development resources, parents can aid their children in becoming well-rounded athletes.

Are you a coach? Or do you know a coach? Share SkillShark or come sign up with us today!

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FAQ — Parent’s Role in Youth Sports

Parents are meant to serve as a support system while ensuring coaches are providing their children with proper and timely feedback.

Encourage your kids to always show up to each practice, ensure they are taking the time during practice to better their skills, and find ways outside of practice for your child and their teammates to bond.

Certainly. Putting too much pressure on your child, setting unrealistic goals, or bad mouthing team members during practices are all examples of how parents can be negatively involved in youth sports.

The archaic pen-and-paper method might be effective for a sports team of 5-10 athletes. With SkillShark’s athlete evaluation software, each child will be sent an individual performance report, showing how they score across a range of skills and compare to the team average.

Young athletes might be timid when asking their coach for feedback, which is imperative to improving one’s skill level. Parents can step in as a friendly guide, encouraging their child to ask for improvement tips and feel comfortable doing so.

Patience, empathy, support, discipline, and love.

Stressed parents create more tension at games and practices and can often make their children overly anxious about their performance. As sports are supposed to be a fun and social experience for your child, keep that fact in mind when watching your child play. Take deep breaths, focus on cheering your child’s team on, and spend time chatting with parents of the team to take your mind off the score.


Elanne is SkillShark’s marketing aficionado who is equal parts passionate about sports, marketing and sports marketing. She can usually be found with a golf ball or three in her purse, and her favorite way to spend downtime is out on the course with friends and family.