Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

Parents. Please Stop Acting Badly at your Kids Youth Sports

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

"Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships."

Dear Parents,

Please stop acting like jerks at your child’s youth sports events. Your kids are watching.

I've spent countless hours in gyms, fields, and stadiums. It's hot; it's loud. Sometimes it is electric. Other times there's chaos. There are victory cries and tears of defeat.

I wholeheartedly believe sports have the ability to transform lives.

But, at times, I've witnessed things that have made my hope in the newest crop of athletes falter, what's more, the parents that watch-on.

Take a look at any field, track, or gym and you will probably find parents behaving badly.

And, in turn, players will be modeling those who curse the refs, threaten the competition, complain about playing time, and are there solely for personal gain.

But, what is the cost? Is getting to the next level worth it, if the means to do so comes through cheating, selfish play, and unsportsmanlike antics?

When the game is done and the athletes step off the field, what is gained? Who do they have to thank? What. Have. They. Learned?

And then there are other times that restore my faith in youth sports.

Like, my daughter’s Little-Team-That-Could.

This season they represented what is possible in sports.

There was no self-proclaimed superstar, nor a parent shouting criticisms or acting disrespectfully.

And, in return, the team supported each other; they relied on each other; they celebrated each other. When a teammate's chin went idown, others reached out their hand.

It's what youth sports, in my opinion, is designed to do. Understanding that no individual wins or loses alone, and you must look to your brothers and sisters to your right and left, lift them up, value their contribution, and work like heck to out-work opponents who rely solely on their individual talent.

This, in fact, builds true CHAMPIONS. . . in sports and in life.

Written by Valli Gideons on


This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.