While there’s a stark lack of formal data and research on parental rage at sports events, it probably wouldn’t do much to halt an alarming trend. Youth participation in organized team sports in a slow decline. Figures from a 2014 survey by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association report 26 million children aged six to 17 played team sports that year, down 4% from 2009. Not a huge drop, but noteworthy.
More than anything, pushy parents can hurt a child’s enjoyment of sport. As a youth coach, I have seen it all when it comes to pushy parents. They force their kids to play when they are injured. They scream and put all sorts of pressure on them to perform. The pay huge sums of money to put their kids in extra training with coaches who are there just for the money and don’t give a damn about the kids. I could go on for a long time…
The evidence can be also found on YouTube. Type “crazy sports parents” and kiss your afternoon goodbye as you watch shaky amateur videos of football coaches punching umpires; a mother landing a solid punch on a male soccer ref; and local news coverage of kids doused with pepper spray during an all-in parent brawl.
Please parents…allow your kids to be kids and enjoy sport like it’s supposed to be played and enjoyed. Read the article a few times; the evidence is there. It is alarming how many kids drop out of sport because of parents who just don’t get it. Don’t be that parent !!