Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I was listening to my favorite sports talk show today, where they were talking about the crazed parents and coaches involved in youth sports nowadays. A heated debate erupted, with many callers weighing in with their opinions. I got upset listening to this particular show because being a coach myself, and now a brand new daddy, this subject hits me square in the face. Most parents and coaches are wonderful, but there are some who have lost their minds.

What's the big deal with teaching our kids that if you don't win every time, you should feel like a total loser, and shouldn't smile until you've won again? Who cares that coaches are grabbing our children by the jersey, and swearing at them on the way to the bench? What's the problem with parents fighting other parents from opposing teams? Isn't all about showing our kids what's really important? Of course it is... parents beating the crap out of each other because their child's team has somehow been cheated, is what we should be teaching! 

Listening to this show made me want to jump through my car radio... callers were actually saying they thought it was a travesty that so many parents are "going too far" with their competitiveness. What?? Too far?? No way! It's absolutely fine to grab your son after he loses a game, and yell at him in front of the other parents and kids. Doesn't little Johnny understand that he totally disgraced his family's name? What's so difficult about having a killer instinct at 7 years old? Don't forget Johnny... there's only 11 years left before you'll be offered a college scholarship! We expect you to be bench pressing 220 lbs. before you turn 9, and dunking a basketball by age 12. 

C'mon parents and coaches... anything less than perfection and an undefeated record is disgusting. Keep up the good work!


Erica said...

Athletics nowadays is one of the most prominent ways to "back door" their way into a good college. If you're particularly good at a sport they could not only go to a good college, but they could also win money for their sport and make it easier financially in the long term. Also, winning teaches kids to expect the best from themselves and to have a good work ethic. Winners typically aren't slackers. A lot of work goes into winning.

At least that's how my dad explained his actions.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Wait... wait... wait....

You're agreeing with the psycho parents and coaches? Seriously?! So, the only way to "succeed" in athletics is to be screamed at after a loss?Embarrassed in front of friends, coaches, and other parents?

There are MANY other ways to motivate that don't "kill the spirit" of our kids.