Helicopter Sports Parents – Focus on the Team not One

Helicopter parents is a term used to describe parents that hover over every aspect of their children’s lives.  I might be one, but I hope not.  I guess I need to ask my sons’ teachers and coaches to get the real answer.  🙂

I find it interesting that most helicopter sports parents that I run across tell me that they are doing this & that for thier son because they want the best for the child. I often wonder if it is their son or daughter they are doing it for or for their inner child that was never taken care of by their own parents.  Which child are they protecting, themselves or their off-spring?

Plus when did we put the “I” back in team?  Why has the individual become so important over the team?  When did the minority become the majority?  Why do we let one or two vocal helicopter parents ruin youth sports so they can protect little Johnny and Janie from the cruel world? 

Most youth football coaches look at players objectively, not through rose colored glasses of the parent.  Parents see in their children what they want to see.  I am a parent and I do the same, I am guilty too!  Sports parents must realize that sports is not a Utopian communal concept where everyone is created equal.  Even in a commune there are leaders, so to in sports. 

I watched one of these helicopter parents / soccer moms the other day in a friendly parent-child softball game.  She was a ruthless competitor.  She pushed everyone on the team to play harder and WIN.  She knocked a young player over running to 2nd base so she would be safe.  It was too funny, because this mom was so upset when we expected her son to get his assignments in flag football correct.  Her son would cry whenever he was corrected and run to his mom.  Mom would scold the coaches for making him cry and say we were too tough on little Johnny.  But, she has no problem running over another persons child to make it safe to 2nd base.   Really, you have got to be serious? 

I don’t think helicopter parenting has anything to do with their child’s welfare.  It has to do with the parent’s competitiveness and ego.  If little Johnnie is not a starter or the featured player then that reflects bad on the parent and they must correct this situation.   

Coaches, you must do what is right for the team not this one parent.  Sometimes you must ask that family to leave and play for another team or league.  Your focus is the team, not one or two players.  What I found out the last several seasons, is when I cater to these parents because maybe there son is one of my top five athletes, they DO NOT appreciate your efforts.  They are still concerned about the “I” in team. 

Do what’s best for the team.  Good luck this season!

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