Advice from the pros on how to best parent young athletes

Article Index


Athlete Ali Krieger W

Ali Krieger

Defender for the 2016 Olympic U.S. Women's Soccer Team, U.S. Women's National Team and the Washington Spirit

"When I was growing up, my mom and dad always let me decide what I wanted to do, both in sports and other activities. Even if I found out I didn't like something, my mom would let me explore and figure it out on my own. I tried tap dance, cheerleading and many sports. If I had an itch to do it, they let me try it. They encouraged me, were supportive and allowed me to make my own path."

Photo: Krieger played on the U.S. Women's National Team at the Olypics in Rio this summer. Photo by Cyntia Hobgood-Our Game Magazine


Athlete Brian Reese W

Brian Reese

Head coach for the Chesapeake Bayhawks lacrosse team

"One of the best ways to be a supportive parent is to release your kids to the coach and the team during practices and games. Allow the coaches to coach them, and allow the kids to make mistakes. After the game and practice is over, be supportive whether they win or lose, play great or play poorly. That is a parent's time to be a confidence booster and not to be critical. Encourage all their teammates from the sideline but avoid coaching them. Remember, their performance is not a direct reflection on the parents, but their attitude, sportsmanship and work ethic is."

Photo: Reese, head coach of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bayhawks


Athelete Billy Hurley HW

Billy Hurley III

Professional golfer on the PGA Tour who earned his first victory this summer and a father of three who currently lives in Annapolis.

“My parents were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. My father taught me to play golf, and my mother drove me to countless practices and tournaments. I could not be more grateful for these gifts. My wife and I believe in exposing our kids to a host of athletic activities and seeing where their talents and interests lie. I also encourage parents to teach their children a variety of skills so they become well rounded. A sports career can be short-lived and has peaks and valleys, which is why a solid, wide-ranging education is so important.”

Photo: PGA Golfer Billy Hurley with his wife, Heather, and children Madison, 2, Will, 10, and Jacob, 7. Photo courtesy of Tiger Woods Foundation

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