In every sport, at every age level, there are some parents that invest in their child’s athletic career a little too much. Parents are encouraged to be enthusiastic and supporting, but when they get overly involved, they could put too much pressure on their child. If you are a cheerleader that is feeling overwhelmed by your parent’s actions, there are ways to deal with it and solve the conflict before it has a negative effect on your performance. Here are 5 tips to help you navigate this touchy situation: 1. Communicate with your parent. This is easier said than done when you are in a hard situation, but communication is the most simple and effective way to reach your parent. Remember, they love you and they care about your success. Let them know that the way that they are acting regarding your sport is actually hindering your success. Being a part of a cheerleading team requires that you develop trust and work as a team. Talk to your parent about the ways that you can work together to resonate those strengths in your relationship! Let them know what motivates you and ask them to focus on incorporating those things instead of criticizing you. 2. Stand up for yourself. We all love and respect our parents…and sometimes we even fear them! Another thing that you should learn as part of a cheerleading team is how to face and conquer your fears. It may be scary, but it is important that you stand up for yourself if your parent is putting too much pressure on you. 3. Get them involved as a team supporter. Help your parent find another way to contribute to the team. Have them join a parent group that helps with fundraising, concession sales or ticket collecting. If they find another way to channel their energy and support, they may back off from trying to manage you. 4. Ask your coach to manage parent involvement better. if parent involvement gets to be too much, get your coach involved. You may need to ask if they can restrict parent access at practices and get stricter about banning sideline coaching from parents at games. Whatever the solution is, having your coach’s support will help you. 5. Know when it has gone too far. Recognize the signs that your parent’s involvement and investment has reached a limit. You should never face verbal or physical abuse from your parent regarding your athletic performance. Your parent should be positive and supportive. If your parent abuses you, get help. Talk to your school counselor, coach or another adult that you trust.