If look at some parents' behavior during the Olympic games, you might think that they are the ones doing the hard work and not their kids.
We'll all seen the videos of Aly Raisman's parents freaking out with each twist and turn she makes on the balance beam or during one of her floor exercises. And who could forget Michael Phelps' mom, Debbie, and her many priceless reactions to the number of photo-finish races that Michael has had over the years?
It's as if parents suffer the same mental and physical toll as their child athletes.
Just kidding, guys. Parents actually only share the mental side of sports with their kids. You might not have expected that, but it's true.
Sports phycologists are equipped to handle and help athletes' family members show their support in the way that most conducive. Erica Force, from the University of North Texas, was quoted as saying to New York Magazine,
It's a bumpy road to the Olympics, family support can play a big role in getting [an athlete] through those challenges.
Yep, sports psychology is serious. Even gymnastics stars Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez have a coach who helps them stay in the right frame of mind.
And with their children on the cusp of achieving greatness, it's no wonder why parents might be so nervous. But those parents should rest easy, and realize they're in the stands for just one thing: support.
Daniel Gould, a sports psychology professor, told NY Mag,
You're not the coach. You're there to be optimistic, supportive. Not to get into what the standings are.
So there you have it. The parents are actually out here getting instructed on how to control their emotions. And yet, somehow, we're pretty sure those instructions haven't made their way towards Aly Raisman's parents.