I am not a parent so I cannot say what it is like to watch my child play sports, nor how I might have reacted to their failures and successes.
I have coached 24 years and so I come by my perspective from that lens. I suppose I would have been like my own parents who were at every softball game, tennis match and track meet in which I had ever participated. They watched and supported me regardless of the outcome. I was a successful high school athlete, the top player on my tennis team and a state champion in the mile. My parents knew nothing about either sport. I think I did so well because I had their unconditional support and they gave limited advice! But still, I am not a parent so I can’t truly know.
But Bob Cook, (and no, not OUR Bob Cooke) has offered some advice on the topic on his blog. Mr. Cook is a regular contributor on youth sports for Forbes Magazine. He has been both a coach and a parent of four children who play sports so he has a good perspective. His blog entry How To Become A Better Sports Parent: Stop Caring (May 29th, 2013) is an honest and interesting piece that may be helpful to parents.