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The Dark Cloud Over Youth Sports

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Once too often, we have seen parents go over the top when they confront a sports official, a coach or a player and sometimes even their own child. This happens in youth athletic events and it’s never a pleasant sight.

The reason why we engage our children in sports is that there are a lot of benefits that they could get. They learn skills and improve their natural talents. They meet new friends and people who have the same interests. Sadly, the boorish behavior of some parents damages the good effects that sports have on the children.

It’s a sad thing when the parent who should have been the kid’s number one fan turns out to be his antagonist. It’s heartbreaking to see a parent humiliate their own kid in front of others. Once you see the kid’s shoulder slump and their happy face suddenly turn sad, you already know that this has caused a permanent mark in a young person’s mind.

Sports should leave a positive experience in a kid, not a bad one. It should add a sense of enjoyment and fulfillment in a person’s life not the other way around.

For my children, when they got involved in sports, they had an exciting time and they learned a lot. They took directions from their coaches who were experts in the game and taught them the ins and outs on how to play it. They formed lasting relationships that enhanced their self-esteem.

There were a few times the coach did cross the line when stressing a point but these incidents were quite few and its memory was pleasant. When a parent flips out and lets out a tirade against the coach of his kid, these are moments that leave a lasting bad memory.

It would be better if the parents just cheered on for their kids and accepted their efforts and mistakes without any question. They should allow their kids to experience both the highs and lows of the sport as part of their growing up. If the parents just stayed in the bleachers, simply enjoyed watching the game and allowed the others surrounding them to do the same then that would be a wonderful thing!

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