Domineering Football Parents- Verbal Violence in Youth Sports
- Updated: August 3, 2016
Domineering Football Parents
A friendly disclaimer: These views are based on my experiences while coaching youth football. My opinions are unbiased- I do not coach any of my relatives, and I live in a different town from where I coach. I coach because I love football, competition, and helping children grow into excellent young men and teenagers. I donate time strictly for the benefit of the children.
Are you kidding me ref, you stink!
What game are you watching ref, how did you miss that call?
What are you doing coach?
Why did you take my child out?
These coaches stink!
My child is the best player and should be running back! I could coach better!
Sound familiar? These comments seem to be becoming the norm. The more youth sporting events I coach/attend the worse the crowd nonsense gets.
In every game there will be bad calls, or no calls (missed penalties) by the referees. Yelling at referee does not help the situation. I have been on the receiving end of both fair and unfair penalties called on my team by the refs. Referees make bad calls; it seems to be part of the game. Many penalties called can be considered questionable. Yelling and screaming on top of your lungs does not help the team, it not only gets the refs distressed. Stress makes the refs call a tighter game which leads to potentially more penalties towards your team. In addition, after a loss or a tough game you will hear children say: “we lost the game because of the refs”. Absolutely Not, we lost the game because we allowed the other team to outscore us, that is why we lost. A lot of parents want coaches to lead by positive example (all coaches should or not be allowed on the field), but yelling and arguing with other parents and referees is not a good example for children. Parents should allow the head coach to handle the referees.
In my many years of coaching youth football I have witnessed occurrences of verbal assault by parents. Parents will do anything for their kids. With that being said, if a parent feels his/her child is being neglected or overlooked they’ll get vocal, rightfully so. BUT there is a distinctive bias towards their child. Parents will tend to think their children are being overlooked or receiving unfair treatment. Favoritism in youth sports with “daddy coaches” does in some cases lead to the uneven distribution of coaching. It’s those cases that parents should speak up and be proactive. Talk to the head coach before or after practice and have a professional tone.
Parents- yelling at the referees will make things difficult for everyone. Its results are always unfavorable. Also, we’ll hear excuses coming from the children, which is in many ways a cop out. There should be no excuses. Arguing and fighting with other parents, coaches, or referees does not set a good example to the youth football community. Not only do coaches have to lead by positive example at games and practices, but the parents need to as well. When you’re about to rip into a coach, keep in mind, it is volunteer based. Coaches are not getting paid for the time and energy they are putting in, regardless of a good or bad situation. Youth sport are all about the children – let’s set great examples.