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Caught In The Intensity Web and Experiencing "Tunnel Vision" On the Soccer Sidelines

Parents Don't Want To Get Stuck In Tunnel Vision

These are a few of the bad results that can and do happen when parents get caught in the tunnel vision part of the intensity web and do not have the skills to get out of a difficult situation. Chances are, if you asked the parents on the red team an hour before the game if they were in favor of violence in youth sports, they most likely would say no. They would tell you that they believed in good sportsmanship, that they want a healthy environment in which their children can play sports.

In the heat of the moment, however, as the intensity web is woven tighter and tighter, it is all too easy for a parent to end up with tunnel vision, their ability to make good decisions severely clouded. Parents literally, and figuratively, lose sight of what is important in youth sports. The inability to stay out of tunnel vision is often the reason parents act out at a youth sports contest.

How To Avoid Tunnel Vision

The good news is that disaster does not have to strike when parents move close to tunnel vision. Several types of interventions can help parents stay focused.

  1. Parent Training

    When parents have been through a good sports parent training class they will learn several skills to utilize that will help them stay more focused. When all a team's parents have completed parent training, they develop a comraderie on the sidelines that allows them to help each other keep things positive.

    When the team has built the expectation that only positive things will happen on the sideline, when one parent starts to cross the line, other parents will help them regain their focus and continue to behave appropriately.

  2. Performance Skills

    Just like athletes, parents on the sidelines can improve their performance as spectators by learning and practicing such techniques as relaxation their bodies and mind and rhythmic breathing. To learn more about the performance skills I recommend parents learn to avoid tunnel vision, click here.

Remember: parents are not helpless when it comes to getting caught in the Intensity Web. Parents do not have to experience Tunnel Vision. By learning performance parenting techniques and practicing them on the sidelines, chances are you will enjoy watching your child play sports much, much more. And by making the sideline a healthier and safer place, you will see your child, and everyone else's, play better and have more fun. After all, fun is what youth sports should be all about!