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I’m convinced that youth sports would be a whole lot more enjoyable if all of us adults were a little kinder to each other. It seems like too many sports parents are so self-absorbed and obsessed with getting their own needs met that they hardly recognize the other human beings around them.
I know most of us aren’t trying to be jerks, but maybe if we asked ourselves a few questions at our kids’ sporting events we’d be a little more in touch with how we come across to those around us.
12 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AT YOUR KIDS’ SPORTS EVENTS
AM I SETTING UP TOO SOON? Before you drop your chairs, wheel in your cooler, spread out your blanket and hammer in the stakes of your tent, make sure the game being played before yours is over! You are not at a concert or in line for the release of the latest iPhone. It’s annoying and flat out inconsiderate to get in the way of parents who are trying to see the end of their kid’s game.
IS MY TENT BLOCKING OTHERS’ VIEW? It’s super cool that you are having wine and cheese social hour for your team during Friday night flag football, but do you have to set up your Giant White tent center stage on the 50-yard line? One of our Facebook readers recently wrote that her husband is in a wheel chair and that people will come set up right in front of him (sometimes with tents!) in the only area that he can be in a wheel chair to watch his son play.
AM I TOO CLOSE TO THE ACTION? Back the F*%k up! You don’t need to be under the hoop so your daughter can hear your instructions or behind the dugout reassuring Johnny that he can do this. I have one friend who gets a little too vocal, so she intentionally sits beyond the outfield during baseball games. She doesn’t bother anyone because no one hears her when she yells, most importantly the kids.
AM I CHEATING? I know it’s just a little white lie. A small bending of the truth. It’s because your kid wants to play with his best friend or only certain practice times work into your schedule. But it seems like a lot of lines are being crossed these days in youth sports. I’ve seen parents lie about their kid’s age to get on a better team. I’ve seen people under and over rate certain players to deceive the other coaches during evaluations for a draft. I’ve seen parents lie about illnesses and afterschool schedules to get their kids on certain teams. I’ve also seen parents exclude other kids from being on their team and lie about the reasons why. It doesn’t matter why you aren’t telling the truth. Lying is still lying and cheating is still cheating.
AM I ALLOWED TO BRING MY DOG? Almost all youth sports venues don’t allow dogs (unless they are licensed service dogs). That means don’t bring your dog. No, really. Don’t. It’s not the right place for the family pet and here is why. I’ve seen 2 dogs get into a fight during a game, dogs pooping and urinating on the playing field, dogs eating the snacks and chewing a shin guard. Just because you are a dog lover, doesn’t mean everyone else is comfortable with animals. I know a few families that have young kids who go into a full-blown panic attacks because they are afraid of dogs.