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John Wayne's Holster: Some Parents Are Taking the Fun Out of Youth Sports
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some Parents Are Taking the Fun Out of Youth Sports

Growing up, I played a lot of sports. And I played on a lot of teams. I played baseball in my hometown little league. I played football and basketball in my church CYO league. I played tennis at the swim club. I played street hockey almost every winter day.

Those time were great. We had a lot of fun. Most of the time I was never aware of the score because I was having so much fun. The games we lost were also fun – so long as we didn’t lose too badly.

In all the years that I played in organized youth sports (1975-1985), I NEVER saw or heard of any parents getting in fights with coaches or refs over any issue. And I have played some games were refs were partisan – some even took cash to assure the "right" outcome. Our coach told us not to worry - just go play and have fun. So thats what we did!

I recently read this article about a father from Philadelphia (my old stomping grounds) who pulled a gun on a coach because his son was not getting enough playing time. The son, incidently, is in the first grade!!!

And this is not the first time I have heard this kind of story. Parents are fighting – even killing – coaches or refs who don’t play kids or make bad calls.

What is going here!? These are kids who just want to play. Like m, most of these young kids are probably unaware of the score in their games. Most probably don’t even know all the rules – and don’t care to know either. They just want to play.

The parents on the other hand think that their kid – who probably can’t even tie his own shoes – is going to be the next Michael Jordan or Joe Montana or Wayne Gretzky. Many are probably frustrated that they sucked so much at sports as a youth. Now they want to live vicariously through their children.

Get a life!

Let the kids play. If the parents want to live out their grid-iron fantasies, let them join a beer league. After a few practices – and a few ass-kickings – most will quit and resign themselves to watching sports on TV.


At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw something about this on the news last week. I must agree that some parents are definitely taking the fun out of youth sports. Youth sports is about instilling discipline and teamwork and introducing children to competition and adversity. No longer. Now many parents attempt to relive their youth through their kids or take all of the fun out by treating these events like the a try-out for professional sports. It is dissgraceful.


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