By Jennifer Wallace and Lisa Heffernan By Jennifer Wallace and Lisa Heffernan
How do the country’s top college coaches react when their child wants to quit a sport midseason or has a problem with a coach or teammate? We interviewed some of the best in the business, including University of Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, about the fine line between providing encouragement and support, and being there for disappointments and setbacks, but not turning into that sports parent.
Each coach focused on the hard work of improving at any sport. They also spoke about how today’s emphasis on individual performance over teamwork damages youth sports and undermines some of the most important lessons that sports can teach.
Here is their expert — and honest — advice, from one parent to another: [interviews have been edited and condensed]
Lisa Heffernan writes about parenting during the teen and college years at Grown & Flown and is the author of three business books. You can find her on Facebook or the sidelines of a soccer game.
Jennifer Breheny Wallace is a freelance writer and the mother of three sporty children. You can follow her on Twitter @wallacejennieb.