09/30/2015 12:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Brutally Honest Take on Sport Parenting


As you may know, I'm pretty darned outspoken about parents of young athletes who are seduced by our hyper-competitive youth sports culture in which parents become overly invested (in terms of time, money and ego) in their children's sports participation.

But nothing I have ever written is as brutally honest as this article written by an ER physician. Sure, it has a certitude and a categorical quality that might be grating to some, but for the vast majority of young athletes and their parents, everything he says rings true to me.

As a mental coach and the author of four parenting books who has worked with many young athletes (and their parents), I have seen much of what the author describes many times over. As the parent of two (possibly) aspiring ski racers, I also see what he sees at races from Nor-Ams down to U10 races.

This article is filled with messages that are unsettling and that we parents don't want to hear. But if we can get beyond our discomfort in the realization that what he says may be true, there is much to be learned from his wise, if not pretty harsh, commentary.