Edgewood Blog

Commentary on Parent Behavior at Youth Sporting Events

Posted on: June 13, 2014

Now that many sports have ended for the school year, I have heard many stories from parents about how either some parent-coaches of youth sports teams or some parents of kids playing on youth sports teams have lost their composure during games. This behavior from adults at games where the premise is for kids to: Play Hard, Have Fun, and Learn the Game is simply not acceptable.

When I hear stories of parents yelling the ‘F’ word towards umpires at their third grade son’s baseball game, or see coaches scream at high school-aged referees about a penalty (or lack thereof) in a fourth grade girls soccer game, I can’t help but think this is appalling. One would think it would be obvious that parents need to relax and enjoy the process and gains that their teams are making over the course of the season; clearly this is lost on some parents. The reality is that these parents are displaying all behaviors that we should not be teaching our kids; they are showing that it is acceptable to be disrespectful while challenging the authority figures.

Which leads to my next point: Parents – please stop blaming officials for the outcome of games. Sure, there may be bad calls or other things that don’t go your team’s way. But there is only one reason why your child’s team lost – its because they didn’t score more goals, runs, or points than the other team. Period. Stop telling your kids ‘they should have won’. If they should have won, they would have won. Instead, encourage your children to persevere, manage the pain of the loss, learn from their failures, and try hard again next time. Maybe then all kids and parents involved can enjoy the games instead of worrying about what parent or coach is going to have the next outburst.