Sports Parents: Here's some advice…
If there is one element of sports that bothers the hell out of me, it is parents. I am not targeting all parents here, but you know which ones I am talking about. The one who complains their child is better than the rest (true or not). The one who constantly yells at the officials or even worse, the one who humiliates their child.
YOU RUIN SPORTS!
I understand that you are your child’s biggest fan and you only want what is best for little Tommy or Jessica. However, there is no reason to act like an asshat about it. For those who may read this and say, what does he know? He probably doesn’t have any kids.
You’re right. I don’t. Someday, I plan to. But what I do have is a fine grasp on the fact that sports are just a game. No one is curing cancer hitting a home run or hitting a three at the buzzer. Chances are, your child isn’t going pro. Let them enjoy their experience. Support them along them way. Give them a push when they need it. Scale back when they need it. DO NOT LIVE OUT YOUR CRUSHED DREAMS THROUGH THEM!
That being said, there is a wonderful documentary on Netflix called “Trophy Kids.” The film was directed by Peter Berg and first aired on HBO in 2013. The documentary addresses the issue of aggressive parents who are wrapped in their children’s athletics. As I was watching, I was just disgusted with how these parents treated their children and the games they played. They were bullies, period.
The film features five parents…
–Mother of twin 13-year-old boys who play tennis
I don’t have much bad to say about the mother as she is very supportive of her two sons. She is a little odd, but she was mild compared to the rest of the group.
–Two fathers whose boys play for the same high school basketball team
The two basketball dads are always yelling and screaming at their sons, teammates, opponents and officials. They have no filter and are completely unaware of their surroundings. One of them complained so much that a tenured and respected coach was fired because he made up stories about the man.
The part that aggravated me the most about one of the dads is that he was talking crap to one of his son’s opponents after sustaining an elbow injury. He screamed that the kid deserved it. I have never wanted to light someone on fire so bad in my life as I watched this grown man berating some high school student. It’s pathetic.
–Father of an 8-year-old girl who plays golf
I couldn’t stand this idiot from the start. He always had something negative to say in regards to his 8-year-old’s golf swing. I want to reiterate, we are talking about an 8-year-old. She was prepping for a major golf tournament and her dad was her caddy. Spoiler alert…she finished 6th! Pretty damn impressive. Not for dear old dad though.
She was doing well, but began hooking everything. Instead of being a good supportive parent, he called his daughter a little bitch and a fucking idiot. Not exaggerating at all. He started cursing at his daughter and when she walked away, he told her never to disrespect him. Yeah ok. Calm down Hitler.
Ironically, she played in a tournament where parents were not allowed to be around, she won. Shocker.
I really hope that guy slips on a banana in the middle of a crowded mall.
–Father of a 15-year-old boy who plays high school football
Now we have a young man who grew up with split parents. He lived with his mom in Seattle for most of his life and would visit his dad during summer vacations in California. Well, dad decided to put him in a major private school powerhouse to play football. The dad said he has spent enough money on football to buy two Lamborghinis. For the record, his dad played at the University of Washington.
His dad would actually put on pads and make his son do drills with him over and over and over. He would crap on him after every game because he did not play perfect.
His dad would constantly say he needs to learn to be man and because he grew up with his mom, he is too feminine. No dad, your son just isn’t a meat wagon like you.
There was one particular and very uncomfortable scene that did have me tear up. The son and his dad were visiting with his mom. They were driving in the car and the son was texting his girlfriend. His dad began giving him shit for having a girlfriend saying all she will do is break his heart. The son began to tear up and simply said he did not want to talk about it. The loving father lights him up the like the fourth of July telling him he needs to earn respect and he can’t tell him when something is or isn’t going to be talked about. He said his son is worthless. His son began to cry to which the dad responded saying he is a girl and keep that crying stuff away and be a man.
It really is uncomfortable to watch at times, but I advise everyone fight through it. Although this is the most extreme cases of parents who need to be put in a psych ward, it is not far-fetched.
I was at my nephew’s flag football game last year sometime. These are 6-8 year old boys. The coaches son was not snapping the ball well and his dad started yelling and screaming like a caveman. The boy, clearly upset, started to cry and his dad said the same thing that his son shouldn’t cry and to stop being a little girl. Now you are publicly humiliating your son, good parenting there buddy.
It makes me sick. Get a life and let your child enjoy theirs. You didn’t make it as a professional athlete, don’t expect your child to. They have your genes you dunce. But also, don’t crush their dreams. If he/she does, awesome! If it doesn’t happen, that’s more than ok too.
With all that being said, I was fortunate enough to grow up with parents who knew when to push or fall back. I remember when I decided to retire (because I am not a quitter) from baseball at 15, I was so worried about my dad. However, he was very supportive of the decision because he knew it wasn’t fun for me anymore. I just stuck to recreational ball in the parish until I was 19.
I also was fortunate enough to have some great coaches throughout my childhood. I spent most of my baseball years playing for the same three coaches.
First and foremost was my dad. He was usually an assistant due to his travel schedule until my last year in 13-14. Once he took over as head coach, he remained in that role until I became too old for parish ball.
He spent a lot of time in the front yard playing catch, throwing to me in the batting cages (sorry for the permanent bruise on your knee), letting me pitch to him and spending hard earned dollars on hitting lessons. I will never be able to thank him enough for all of that. Bob is a legend, period.
Second is the guy I played for most of my younger years until I was 12, Ralph Cox. If you happen to ever come across this, you always made the game fun. Luckily, his son was one of my best friends growing up. I spent a lot of time down the street at their house growing up. When my dad was out of town for work, Coach Ralph would always swing by and pick me up.
He wanted to win just like most people, but he mainly he just asked for the best effort. If our team gave it our all and he saw that, no yelling or acting like a crazy person.
Nick if you are reading this, you may or may not remember this. “It is time to put your big boy pants on.”
The third was Scott MacCord. He picked me up on his team when I was 10 maybe and then two more times after that. He always had a laid back demeanor. I don’t remember him ever yelling, but he was one of those coaches who didn’t really need to. His body language would tell the story. Thanks Coach Scott.
The reason I am telling you about my experiences growing up playing baseball is because it was FUN for me. I enjoyed everything about it until high school when things became way too serious. Because of the coaches I had when I was younger, I currently still play in an adult men’s league. Every Sunday brings me back to when I was a kid thinking I was going to the show. Win, lose, good or bad game, the game was ALWAYS fun.
THANKS, YOU NEVER RUINED IT!