Youth sports is a great and effective way to teach children about many character-building skills. Unfortunately, it can also expose children to a darker, more idiotic side to their parents.
Parents of young athletes’ behavior can go from bad (pouting; several facial contortions of disappointment) to the downright ridiculous (getting into physical fights with other parents over certain players – which, I’ll remind you — are kids!)
Parents everywhere are sucking the fun and positive benefits out of youth sports and replacing it with severe pressure, anxiety, stress, embarrassment and low confidence. They are doing more harm to their children, than good by behaving in a way they themselves wouldn’t accept of their own children.
Children involved in youth sports focus on having fun, spending time playing with friends and the donuts they stand to get after the game from that one parent that always brings a box for the team. While playing a sport can lead to great benefits for children, such as, better health, teamwork and discipline, they are still children and we shouldn’t expect them to behave like adults that have the maturity and focus to play like professionals. The more parents can remember this, the better off they’ll be.
Instead of yelling and getting frustrated, parents should use their energy to encourage, praise and help players grow and achieve their goal as a team. It’s important to remember that this ‘goal’ isn’t winning, but, instead, to have fun and enjoy their time with their teammates. It’s time to put the ‘youth’ back in youth sports and let them play.