12 November 2011

Kids Sports and Competitive Parents

Today was my 4th grade daughters second volleyball game of the season.  I'm starting to notice a trend in this town - way too many competitive parents.  I can understand being a little bummed if your child's team doesn't win their game, or if the team doesn't seem to be in the groove of things that particular day.  What I don't understand is the re-occurring theme I am noticing of parents yelling at these kids, which are 9 and 10 year olds by the way, to do better and get with it so to speak.  Maybe it's just me, but I don't understand it.  Given the age of these kids, shouldn't we as parents just let them enjoy the game and be happy that they are participating in something active and learning to work together as a team?

One particular mother I have noticed gets pretty upset and whispers to her friends and family that come with her about certain kids who may miss a volleyball serve, or fail to successfully return a serve.  Her daughter is usually the star of the show and I will admit it.  Her daughter is naturally sporty and a go getter so to speak.  Is it bad that I felt a little glad that for once her daughter didn't steal the show, and my daughter got to have an awesome game for once today?  Something about these overly competitive sports parents really gets under my skin.  I can't imagine getting onto my daughter's case for having an off game.  I always give her words of praise and encouragement after her practices and games.  If need be, constructive criticism when appropriate, but never scolding like I see some of these other parents do.  I'm also one of the only parents that cheer for all the kids, not just my own, trying to keep their morale high. 

At the end of the day my feeling is that we should let kids this young just be kids.  Be happy that they are out their giving it their best try and encourage them along the way.  I find myself feeling very sorry for the kids whose parents are shouting harshly at them during games.  It makes me wonder what they have to deal with in the car or at home afterwards if they don't perform up to their parents expectations.  Has anyone else witnessed this kind of behavior within their own children's sports teams?  I would love to hear other mother's opinions!

1 comment:

  1. Competitiveness in sports is everywhere. I can't even tell you how irresponsible some parents act. However, sports are competitive and there are teams and leagues that are less competitive in recreation centers. Here in TX, parents are very sports competitive, especially with football. I visited a friend's son's practice and all the fathers were there hovering around their sons. And they're all only 10. Parents have cliques too! It's like high school but for parents.