Last week one of my fantastic coworkers finagled a way for our team to go bowling together. She and I were incredibly excited to get the time away from work to do some team building - even though we both suck at bowling. We suck at bowling so much, that we happily dubbed our team, Team Suck.
On bowling day everyone had a blast. It was a chance for all of us to get together, relax a bit from the plethora of emergencies that had hit our team that morning, and cheer each other on. My coworkers and I clapped for everyone - on our team or not - and cheered each other over every knocked down pin.
And this week I learned that cheering for everyone is also the way I will need to cheer my son if he wants to play sports.
In an article by the Wall Street Journal, experts weigh in on how to not be "that" parent - the one yelling instructions, getting way too passionate about errors on the field or singling out their child from the sidelines. Rather, we should all strive to be the type of parent who cheers for every child and the whole team. Even innocuous remarks such as "keep your eye on the ball" or any criticisms heard from the sidelines have been found to embarrass children in front of their teammates, or make them focus on what their parents are saying instead of what their coach wants them to focus on.
Another idea from the article that I liked was for parents to take mental notes on small areas of improvement - getting up quickly from a fall or following a coach's directions on a play - for discussion later. (I am always looking for dinner table conversation and celebrating those small wins, seems like a great addition.)
My son doesn't play any organized sports yet, but I'll see where his interest lies as he gets older. In the meantime, I look forward to my next time bowling at work. (For the record, Team Suck didn't win, but we didn't lose either.)
What sports do you get passionate about watching from the sidelines? Tell me in the comments.