Are you an overzealous sports parent?

I recently watched a documentary on HBO about sports parents called Trophy Kids. I was appalled at the parents’ behavior. Name calling, cursing and intimidation were the overwhelming patterns detailed and one of the kids, a female golfer, couldn’t have been more than 8 or 9 years old. I was so angry that I wanted to find the parents and go after them. I spend a majority of my professional time with kids as a highschool football coach and sports performance specialist. I have seen plenty of bad parent behavior but this was beyond anything I’ve seen. Now in fairness, this was edited for tv and I get that, but I’m assuming that the editing included some additional bad behavior as well.

I think its sad that parents sometimes live through their kids and if you have kids who participate in sports it begs the question: Are you an overzealous sports parent?

Here are a few things that might be indicators.

1. You berate your kid for mistakes made in games for hours, sometimes even days after an event.

2. You constantly blame officials, coaches and other players for losses or poor performances.

3. You regularly request meetings with coaches to discuss strategy or playing time.

4. You attend your kid’s practices.

5. You schedule most of your kid’s free time with activities to prepare him or her for sport.

If you do 1 or more of these things, you could be an overzealous sports parent. Is this you?