Random Notions Newsletter
Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter featuring news, contests, job postings, events, and more. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Are You a Bad Sports Parent? Seventy-five percent of youth sports coaches say most parents place too much emphasis on their child winning games, highlighting the “win at all costs” culture among many sports parents, according to a new CoachUp survey. An even higher percentage of coaches — 95 percent — say they’ve seen a parent yell at a referee during a game, setting an example of poor sportsmanship for their young athlete that will stay with them long after the game ends.
“The pressure on young athletes to play well has never been greater and parents often unwittingly make choices that value winning over the child’s well-being,” said Dr. Amy Baltzell, a Boston University sports psychology professor, former Olympic rower, youth coach and co-author of the sports parenting book, Whose Game Is It, Anyway? “Youth sports can be a wonderful way to teach life’s lessons, strengthen the habit of physical activity and help children develop into confident, well-rounded adults but parents can undermine these lessons by putting too much pressure on participation and performance or by behaving poorly (e.g. coaching, criticizing, yelling) from the sidelines.”
The CoachUp survey also examined another growing trend: parents who sign their kids up in multiple sports per season, often because they fear their young athletes will fall behind their peers. More than half of coaches – 55 percent – said to avoid sports “burnout,” elementary school kids should play only one organized sport per season, the survey found.
“Youth sports are a great way to teach kids confidence, teamwork, sportsmanship and the value of trying your best,” said Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp’s president and founder. “As adults, parents and coaches, we can help young athletes learn to love sports in a positive, encouraging environment to prepare them to be the best they can be on the field and in life.”
The CoachUp survey, which included responses from 261 youth sports coaches around the U.S. from June 6 to 25, also found:
CoachUp (on Twitter: @CoachUp) connects athletes with private coaches to help them reach another level in sports and life. As the nation’s leading private coaching company, CoachUp has over 13,000 coaches across the country in many sports, from basketball and soccer to fitness and dance. CoachUp helps athletes find the perfect coach and get the most out of their training. Coaches rely on CoachUp to build their web presence, market their services and manage their business. CoachUp was founded by Jordan Fliegel, whose life was changed when his father found a private coach to improve his basketball skills. Fliegel credits private coaching for his successful academic and eventual professional basketball career. He founded CoachUp to bring high-quality coaching to athletes across the country.