When I sit down to write a blog for the website I am always thinking of ways to spark some conversation or stir the pot or even rattle some cages. One thing you can count on, with no exceptions, every time I write about parents and their role in their daughters softball career it is going to create some sparks. Now, I know the old coach in me often writes about the negative impact that many parents have on their kids, their kids coaches and their kids teams. And when I do, from the responses I get, you can see that I just don’t understand. Or do I?
Here is a list, (I know another list) from the “I Love to Watch You Play” website. This is a list of all the complaints that parents shared about their experience in youth sports. It’s a long list but it is my chance to show you all that I am willing to share all the viewpoints, not just that of an old ball coach!
- Coaches who don’t give 100%.
- Other parents. The negative talk, the sideline coaching, the bad attitudes or general bad behavior.
- Participation trophies.
- All coaches say they want their athletes to be multi-sport but then ask for a year round commitment to their sport.
- Parents who complain but never offer to help solve any of the problems.
- Parents who are living vicariously though their kids and won’t admit it.
- Parents who take it too seriously.
- Coaches who take it too seriously and sacrifice development and fun.
- Coaches, parents and players treating umpires poorly.
- Poor planning by coaches, dropping games, tournaments or practices at the last minute without warning.
- Coaches not sharing information clearly.
- Parents who spend the majority of their time screaming at their kid.
- Parents who are totally disengaged with the games and kids. Device addiction.
- Competition between parents. Trying to one up each other.
- Coaches who don’t develop players but just worry about recruiting better players.
- Overuse injuries.
- Parents who never have anything good to say.
- The rush to specialize at very young ages.
- Bullying from players, coaches or parents.
- Coaches who shouldn’t be coaching. Poorly trained, aren’t good teachers, have a selfish agenda,
- Coaches who are willing to cheat or bend the rules to win.
- Recruiting pressure.
- Unprepared or lazy coaches.
- Traveling to far away places to play when good competition is near to home.
- Never traveling to find stiffer competition.
- Missing family events for games.
- So Much Money!
- Parents who scream at their kids during games, after games, before games.
- Coaches who only care about winning.
- Coaches who don’t care enough about winning.
Quite the list I know. What is the point you ask, as you often do about what I write?
When you read a blog or an article that paints anyone involved with our great game is a less than flattering light that there are many people who have very strong opinions about the the state of the game. The purpose of most of these efforts is to make a difference in the future. I understand that no one is perfect so when we offer some insights please take it for what it’s worth.
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?