The season is about to be upon us, not Xmas but oddly enough that will be all over the stores in a month lol. Soccer season and youth sports in general. It’s a time of cheering and scoring and high fives, trophies and participation medals and juice boxes. The important thing to remember however is it’s the time for the kids to have fun and develop relationships and a love for athletics. This love is what will ultimately determine the level your young athlete will get to and there is no faster way to squelch that affection for their sport than an over bearing parent. I had my own experience this past week with a father so frustrated by his sons’ lack of play time at the high school level that he confronted me and attempted to physically intimidate me. The issue was, I had nothing at all to do with the high school team. Despite him knowing that, his frustration was so rabid he could no longer reasonably distinguish one issue from another so he displaced his anger towards another target – me. He later half-heartedly apologized but instead of simple forgiveness I worked to offer him perspective, that in his obsession with experiencing success through his son he missed the whole point of youth sports. His son was miserable and felt like a failure to his father and I suggested that he focus on his son and family and who they are and not who he wants them to be, making up for whatever wrongs he felt he experienced in his youth. Sports are a great opportunity to bond and open doors of communication when parents let it just happen. Long car rides to and from games and discussions about the game often lead to discussions about their lives and dreams. So as the season starts remember that the sport is simply a vehicle for them to be active, develop friendships and explore their passions and not for us parents to drive them to succeed on our terms. Just let them play!