Alexa's take on athletics: Parents push athletes to their tipping point

October 23, 2019



Design by Alexa Berisford


Everyone feels pressure from their parents, athlete or not, but some parents take it to the extreme. When does the caring push become forceful and too much for a kid to process?


From the parents’ perspective, they believe they know what is best for their child's athletic career and often push them to do things without hearing what the athlete has to say. However, sometimes parents use their child's athletic success to show off to their peers and exploit their children's success. 


I have seen this time and time again throughout my personal athletic career. Many times, an athlete may feel worn out and no longer wants to compete in such a rigorous and time consuming environment. 


This issue may lead a child to continue the sport but refuse to put in effort to improve. It may also lead to issues within the family and break the relationship bond between parent and child as they may feel their parents are pushing them into a corner. 


I think everyone can agree on one thing, making sure children are getting adequate amounts of exercise is crucial for their growth and  development, but they do not need to be the “best of the best” in any sport in order to meet this requirement. 


Injuries are also a huge problem in sports. Children will push themselves so hard to the point where they get injured or suffer from a concussion. Statistics show that one third of athletes are sidelined due to injury. ​


With most children playing school sports, signing up for travel teams and participating in other activities. It's no surprise that injuries are becoming more common. According to the National Athletic Trainers' Association, “Although the health benefits of participation in competitive and recreational athletic events are numerous, one adverse consequence is sport-related injury. Overuse or repetitive trauma injuries represent approximately 50% of all pediatric sport-related injuries. It is speculated that more than half of these injuries may be preventable with simple approaches.”


Youth sports are designed to be a stepping stone for young athletes to learn sportsmanship, meet friends, form good healthy habits, and learn how to lose as well as win. 


Being involved in the child's athletics is important, as long as parents do not take it too far. Children find more enjoyment and reach their highest performance peak when parents create a balance between involvement and pressure. Parents’ interests with the child's sport should not depend on a win or lose; they should remain supportive no matter the outcome.


Since parents play such a huge role in their child's athletics, there are many things they can do to help them have a positive experience. Parents can do this by asking their child how practice was or how they felt about their game. Parents should attend as many games as possible.


They also need to offer praise and let their young athlete have fun playing. Allowing the child to make their own choices will help them understand what they really want, and helps them see what they find enjoyable. If parents make all of the decisions for the athlete, they might rebel and not want to participate in the sport.


Many people only see the overly involved parents in their children's recreational or school sports. While there is a high number from school sports, there is an even higher number of these parents in travel and club teams. These parents push their children to be the best because most pay a significant amount of money in tuition and equipment. As the costs get higher, the more controlling and involved the parents get. They do not want to lose because they feel like it is a waste of money to not win.


In conclusion, there can be many factors that play into parents pushing their young athletes. There are many ways parents can be involved with their children's athletics by still encouraging and giving them positive feedback. If parents let coaches coach, then youth sports can go back to serving the purpose it originally was meant to, and children can go back to having fun and enjoying the game.

Please reload


Print Editions

Online Editions

Please reload


Please reload

Orange Media publications are official student-produced mediums of news and information published by the Journalism students of Olentangy Orange High School. The publications have been established as a designated public forum for student journalists to inform, educate and entertain readers as well as for the discussion of issues of concern to their audience. They  will not be reviewed or restrained by school officials, adults or sources prior to publication.

The content of the publications is determined by and reflects only the views of the student staff and not school officials or the school itself. They will not publish any material, determined by the staff or adviser, that is libelous, obscene or disruptive to the school day.

The advisers are Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola. Readers may respond to the publications through Letters to the Editor. Letters may be mailed, e-mailed to or dropped off to room 2223. The staff asks that submissions be 300 words or less and contain the author’s name and signature. Editors reserve the right to edit or withhold publication of letters.

The publications strive to uphold the Canons of Professional Journalism, which includes accuracy, impartiality, etc. Therefore, major errors will be corrected in the next issue. Distinction will be marked between news and opinion stories.

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now