How do you deal with crazy parents at your kids sporting event?
What do you do if a fellow parent at your kids sporting event is over the top with his/her criticism of the coaches, refs, or other players?
This is pretty annoying. As an athlete, I've had parents actually sway coaches against me for the "benefit of the team." If these parents are around, keep showing your face in case the coaches can be swayed. Do not let them take over the team or their "gifts from heaven" will be MVPs regardless of ability. As far as dealing with them is concerned, there isn't a whole lot that you can do. I mean, moving to some other location is an option. So is telling the parent off. Telling him or her off probably won't do anything though unless you have backup. If you really want to mess with them, tell the coach on them while in private. They'll be sure to learn a lesson this way.
My husband and I coach soccer and the YMCA in our town. We have had great parents for the most part on our teams. I think that one thing very important is to establish right off the bat on your own team what will be expected. We tell our parents that we expect the kids to play with good sportsmanship. We expect them to be at practices and games, and we expect the parents to cheer for their chidlren. We work hard to establish a sense of "team" with the kids as well. This generally transfers to the parents and they seem to appreciate it. As for parents on other teams, this is hard because we don't know them and they are not on our team. I have talked with the refs before when things got really out of hand. It is typically the responsibility of the refs to control the parents and correct as necessary. Finally, as a last resort, we can talk to the athletic director or the overall director. They have been really good about coming out to games if there is a problem with a parent.
What I would avoid is getting into an altercation with the parent. That is the last thing that our kids need to see.
We have been to countless youth sporting events and we have seen more than a few of these parents. The only recourse you really have is to talk to the coach or the athletic director. It works! Good Luck
I have coached multiple sports at multiple ages for multiple years and it never fails that at least one apple has to be bad every year. Whether it be from my team or the other. If the problem is from the other team....walk away....you don't have to deal with them enough to confront them. (Assuming their not threatening you or your child's safety.) If from yours, it gets tricky because they go to school together, etc... I agree with TripleAMom that confrontation is the last thing we want the kids to see but you can't let a "problem person" go unaddressed. It is sure to escalate at some point if no one acts. As I said, I am a coach...it is my responsibility to handle these situations. If you have a continuous problem then the coach is not doing their job. I know some coaches who may read this are cursing me right now but the fact is... Voluntary or not, we signed up for this and must except ALL that comes with it. We coaches have more ways to resolve the situation than the parents and with less likelihood of a bad scenario. I personally pulled a "problem" aside and told them...."Think, believe, and complain to whomever you want off the field. If you keep up as you have, you leave me no choice but to remove your son from the team." I was calm, collected, and firm...no more problems....at least at the field. A coach does have disciplinary authority and should know the protocol Hold your coach accountable. (assuming he's not the problem) If he is, revert to TripleAMom's director suggestion. If the problem runs up the ladder...not much a parent can do in public youth sports but find a new league. Problem...this plague is widespread and sad. Could go on all day...sorry.
In my experience from when I was the kid, what worked best is when the coaches made their expectations clear from the get go. For example, our football coaches told us, the players, that if our parents said anything to them regarding their decision making or how they were coaching the team that it would only hurt us as players even more. I think this drove us to tell our parents to cool it which seemed to work.
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