The Youth Sports Parent’s Promise, an answer to the Matheny Manifesto: Josette Plank

By on May 27, 2015, Mike Matheny, I just read your manifesto on coaching Little League–the one that’s currently everywhere on the Internet–and I’ll say this: You’ve hit a home run.

When it comes to youth sports, your old-school philosophy is good advice.

Discipline, hard work and dedication. Long-term goals and skill building over short-term flash. Sports parents need to not act like crazy people.

Got it.

Here’s my response. Did I miss anything?

The Youth Sports Parent’s Promise

As a sports parent, I will remember that the No. 1 goal of youth sports is to have fun.

I will tell my child to “have fun” without adding any ifs, ands or buts. I will not say to my child, “Have fun … but if you don’t score a goal, find your own ride home.”

As a sports parent, I will support my child in positive ways.

I will buy nutritious foods so that my child is well-fueled. I will not try to increase my 11-year-old’s muscle mass by feeding him protein powders and supplements. I will not limit my young gymnast to a diet that’s better suited to rabbits.

I will make sure my kid gets enough sleep, eight hours minimum. If my kid has trouble balancing school, family, sports and sleep, then something needs to change. (Hint: The ability to read and add numbers is usually of more lifelong value than the ability to hit the cutoff man. Usually.)

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