Darin Shapiro

5 do’s and don’ts for parents in wakeboarding by World wakeboard Champion Darin Shapiro

This is a touchy subject but, I have decided to address it since I feel this is super important and often overlooked. This article is intended for parents who are looking for their child to make a career out of sports.

1. Read as many books as you can about kids in sports and sports psychology for children. If you really want to be a good sports parent you really need to take the time and read sports psychology books.

2. Ask questions¬†and listen to what successful rider’s parents have done with their kid. Ask only top level, professional, and successful rider’s parents. Professional means that they are making a comfortable living and are “A” level athletes. All of the “A” level wakeboard parents will have an answer like, “I let them do it themselves and left it up to them.” Or, “I left them alone, but they always knew I was there.”

3. Be careful who you get your advice from. I want to get information from someone who has actually done it. If you want professional advice ask a “game changing athlete” or “A” level athlete. Only ask advice from people who are winning or with a winning track record. If you want “B” level advice, ask a “B” level athlete.

4. Parents of successful professional riders say that they had wished they would have made them work harder for it. Have your kid carry their own gear or gas can down to the dock. Allow them to carry their own weight and be independent when it comes to their sport.

5. Let kids talk to sponsors themselves. Sponsors generally don’t like dealing with parents.¬†I’m not saying parents shouldn’t talk to sponsors but the last thing that they want to hear is what new trick your child learned over the weekend. The relationship that needs nurturing is between the sponsor and the child, no matter what age they are.


Darin Shapiro

Kien Shapiro shredding


6 thoughts on “5 do’s and don’ts for parents in wakeboarding by World wakeboard Champion Darin Shapiro

  1. Darin, I hope you are well. It’s probably been 10 years. I still remember painting your carport with Colin back then. Number 5 is right on in the tips. I decided to take a different route but from day 1 my dad had me deal with all of my sponsors. He gave his opinion from time to time and helped if I asked but he tried to let me do my own thing. I run a successful business today because of a lot of the things I learned while dealing with wakeboard sponsors. I also had to work in order to ride so that never hurts either. I’m married with a 2 yr old. Time flies… Congrats on getting back into the saddle.

    Brian Crawford

    • Brian,
      Thanks for the message! Its great to hear from you! You always seemed like a smart guy!
      Being a dad rocks!

      All the best to your family!

  2. Being newbies with Kyla, this is great information for us. Thank you for taking the time to put this out there.

  3. Thanks Darin for the tips you provided, especially the one about making it fun. It has always been for fun, like pulling him around the backyard behind the John Deere on a pair of snoopie skies. He has turned out to be such a well rounded rider. Talk about making him work for it….we don’t even own a wakeboard boat, only a ski boat. He has to find a ride and then carry the gas to the boat. Looking forward to more great tips and the changes to come in the sport.

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