I have been around this game for a very long time. As I have said many times there are a lot of great parents who are devoting their time, money and love to help their kids enjoy playing this game. They are supportive and allow their kids to have a great experience where they grow, learn and in some case, even win some games.
But… Are you one of these?
Politician: They are constantly campaigning for more playing time and a bigger role on the team for their kid. They are willing to make a “donation” to the team in the form of additional financial support or by doing extra things for the team or coaches. They are hoping that by “giving” a little extra their kid will “earn” a bigger role on the team.
Blamer: They are always pointing out the shortcomings or mistakes made by other players. Often in an attempt to deflect the blame from their own kid. This is a team killer. Once we create an environment where this is accepted we are in a death spiral. When you hear a parent blaming another, simply say, “We support all our players!” and walk away. If you allow this to happen, I promise your kid is one of their targets!
Screamer/Yeller: Every team has this parent. We have to let everyone know that we see the errors. strikeouts, poor decisions and brain cramps very loudly. Some the venom is directed at their own kid, some is directed towards the umpires and some is directed at the coaches but there is plenty of venom to go around! Nothing causes more tension, fear and drama for the kids on the team than the screamer.
Excuse Maker: Whenever their kid makes a mistake, we hear all about the reasons for the mistake. Not feeling well, too sick to practice this week, playing a different position, hitting in a different spot in the order, or whatever! This parent is as annoying as possible but at the end of the day they are probably hurting their own kid more than they are hurting the team.
I’m Not The Coach, But If I Was…: They always know more about the game than the coach of the team. Every decision is questioned. Whether it is playing time, on field strategy, or what uniform was worn that day there is always something to question. Players are very confused when they are getting one message from their coaches and another from their parents. Both are very influential in their lives and forcing them to choose between the two is devastating. If you ever hear a player talk about how much they love it when their Mom (yells) at them from the stands, you’ll be the first!
We all know who these parents are. Every team has experience with all the categories listed above. If you read these descriptions and you don’t see this behavior as a problem or you can’t think of anyone who fits this description, look in the mirror!