This post got a little long….imagine. So I will post it in a few parts. Stay tuned for the next publications.
Recently I read about a town in Australia that actually implemented laws that govern parent behavior at sporting events. Stepping out of line is punishable by banishment from the play area, and/or fines. My first thought was: “Really? Is that necessary?” Then after reflecting on our own American sports parents I realized that the Aussies are right on track. We have seen cases as extreme as the case in Texas where the cheerleader’s mother killed a rival cheerleader to promote her own daughter’s chances of “making the team”; to something as common as bad-mouthing the umpire at a little league game. Being in the kids/sports industry I can say that I have seen some curious parenting styles out there that run the gamut.
Working as an administrator, coach and teacher for over 30 years, I have seen some cases that would be unbelievable to the average person. I have also seen some parents that taught me a thing or two about how to behave when I became a parent, and I try to emulate those role models every day.
The goals of a good sport parent should be the same goals held by a good coach; develop the whole athlete. As a coach and parent I have tried to teach my children values and model virtues, I have focused on developing character. Yes, of course as a coach, I do like to win; but as it states in our Gymfinity team handbook, “when the trophy is more important than the smile, then there will be no true way to win.”