Preparing for College

Psycho Sports Parents

This article is targeted at high school athletes and their parents. The emphasis on school sports is remarkable. I did a newspaper analysis once, comparing the column inches devoted to a state-title-winning girls basketball team compared versus the students at that high school who had attained National Merit Finalist status. Ha! As if I was surprised to see that basketball ink outpaced National Merit ink by a 20-1 margin. The b-ballers got big color pictures, too.  The NM Finalists got mere text. Needless to say, when I presented my analysis to the newspaper folks, I got looks that said, “What the heck is wrong with you, man? We’re talking state champs here!”

Anyway, that little anecdote sets the stage for my rant of the day about sports-obsessed parents and their effect on their sports-playing kids. I got a heads-up message from one of my usual PR sources headlined “Spring Sports Madness Reveals the Losing Side of Student Athletics: Psychiatrist Shares 4 Ways Sports-Obsessed Families Can Affect Young Athletes.” This got me to thinking, since I was at one time a high school state-title-competing tennis player. Yes, I know; that was back when women tennis players wore dresses that would have made Scarlet O’Hara jealous, but the principles were the same. Fortunately, my parents were not psycho about my tennis “career.” They weren’t in a tizzy about me getting a college scholarship and/or going on to play Pancho Gonzales and Rod Laver in the Big Time. They were just quietly supportive and very happy for any accomplishments I happened to earn.


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