We all want to have our son/daughter be the highest performing player. But I want to ask you, what do you want them to get out of the sport?
What do you believe your role is as a parent to help them?
I wanted my sons to learn that there is adversity and to learn how to overcome. Learning how to make adjustments along the way, find solutions. But I wanted their character to be developed. So I felt that the role I had to play was to reinforce that at home as well.
When I am watching or scouting a game, I watch the game within the game. But most importantly, I watch what happens with the player, do they acknowledge others, are they happy to be playing, giving high fives, making eye contact with the coaches, the body language when they are taken out of the game and when they are being given instruction on the bench.
Ask yourself how much time are you talking to your child about being an athlete or being a better person? Because when you address the person you are addressing the development of their character. When you talk about them as an athlete, you are talking about their performance.
At our house, we keep it simple. My parents, didn't care how many points I scored when I was playing, when I was at home, I was a son, a brother and I had responsibilities to keep up, regardless of how popular I was. This provided me with a grounding, and a perspective that I pass along to my own sons.
I always pay attention to interaction, if they are acting too cool, or if they are enjoying being a kid and showing passion. We try to remind them once in a while by placing notes in their lunches about how much we love them, how special they are, loving them as a person, not with what they do. We also try to surround them with a close knit inner circle that cares about them as a person. Their family, sensei's, teachers. We also believe in having them talk to people, listen to people and to become problem solvers.
We want to raise our children with the understanding that we are here to serve, that we might perform fantastic in a play, in a competition, however, we are still just trying to become great young men and grounded and grateful for the opportunity. I tell my players all the time to respect the game. No player was born to play the game, they had to work at it, the minute they didn't treat the game or others with respect, the game spit them out.