So I have already written about “Helicopter Parents” and “Lawnmower Parents” to discuss the impact that parents have on the experience their kids have with playing. I have also written to bring awareness to the impact these parents have on coaches, administrators, umpires and other families.
Well, I heard a new one. Welcome to the world of the “Bulldozer Parent”.
The “Bulldozer Parent” isn’t just floating around the team to insure that their kids are getting a fair shot. They aren’t just mowing down potential obstacles to make their kids path as smooth as possible. No the “Bulldozer Parent” is even more aggressive and more blatant.
What are some “Bulldozer” tactics?
Abusing officials, including physical or personal attacks.
Threatening coaches for lack of playing time, game strategies or perceived lack of success. Including trying to get coaches fired, physical confrontation or after-hours harassment.
Attacking the performance of teammates who are playing more than or ahead of their child. Including physical, personal and socially unacceptable attacks.
So how is the “Bulldozer” different from other parent types?
They will stop at nothing to see their child get ahead. They have no concerns about fairness or logic. their only goal is that their kid plays, plays where they feel they should play, gets recognized for team success whether warranted or not and will stop at nothing to see their kid get what they want them to get.
The “Bulldozer” isn’t going to stop until they get what they want or level everything in their way. What is scariest is that we continue to see escalation of how parents are impacting the teams their kids play on. We keep hearing new terms to describe the next level of parent behavior.
Why the escalation of behavior? When you perceive that another kid is getting ahead of yours because their parent is playing the game then you feel obligated to step up your game to help your kid. Crazy? Of course, but it seems that aggressive behavior is becoming a competition amongst certain parents.
What’s the answer?
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.