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Overbearing Parents Toxic to Young Athletes

By Kevin Danahy, Cape Gazette, 04/20/19, 4:00PM CDT

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As players, we are taught to accept the result and move on, but many parents feel their child was deprived on the field, and they scream their dissatisfaction from the sidelines.  

In a past article I wrote about the importance of allowing kids to enjoy youth sports and the problems that arise when too much emphasis is placed on performance and the impact that can have on a child at a young age. In this article I would like to discuss another sensitive topic in youth sports: overbearing or aggressive parents on the sidelines.  If you have been to any youth sporting event and have not seen this behavior, please read the entire article because you are probably the type of parent I’m describing.  

The reason I say that is because it has gotten to a point that you can’t go to any type of youth sports game without seeing a situation where a parent is screaming at the referee, badmouthing the other team’s players or parents, or overly critiquing their own child’s play.  This can be a toxic environment for our kids. What are we really teaching our kids when this behavior is tolerated or, in some cases, even encouraged?