I ran into a few toxic sports parents, this past Spring 2022 while helping out two youth football teams in a part time capacity. One team with vocal obnoxious parents got me thinking about past and present; Toxic Sports Parents Experiences, my 50 Crazy Parent Issues.
After getting assaulted at a game a few years ago by an angry parent while I was on league field duty, I am keenly aware of crazy loud sports parents. I’ll be honest, I am a little gun shy of them now, especially since the world has gone bat shoot crazy in the last few years.
I think sports parents forget that most of us are unpaid volunteers. I love coaching youth sports especially football. I love all my players. As coaches we want all players to start and be great. Sometimes, personalities get in the way of all of us having fun. Parents, if you want to complain then get your own team and find out how hard it is to coach youth sports. Because dealing with bad sports parents makes me not want to coach anymore. And that is very sad after 30 plus seasons coaching youth sports.
Here is my list of 50 issues with sports parents that in my opinion got out of hand. I learned from these experiences and hope you can learn from this article and future articles or podcasts / videos as I talk about the issues and experiences over the next few weeks. I talk about two sports parents experiences today from my first season coaching youth football.
Toxic Sports Parents Experiences
- Overzealous Dad yells at son to blitz and costs team a playoff win
- Opposing Coach / Dad comes on field yelling at son that just fumbled
- Team mom upset her son is not a starter since she is team mom
- Aggressive Dad just released from prison touches son at during drill
- Dad pulls son from team after position discussion
- Upset Dad surprise Sunday afternoon visit to discuss play time
- Dad upset I ask his son to attend QB clinic but now starting
- Parents upset 2nd string RBs only played a few plays vs top team
- Dad / Coach upset his son not getting football to win game
- Dad / Coach upset I rearrange Coordinator roles – pulls son
- Crazy Mom follows me after game yelling in my ear about playtime
- Parents upset at me when HC pulls son as a starter but I like
- Mom upset son only starts on Defense against certain Offenses
- Coach who ask me to help turns against me not starting son
- Established Select Team Politics / Performance Based Starters
- Select League Roster Issues / Age Stacks
- Dad agrees son not playing well then upset not starting
- Parents upset about losing yells at Defense coach not HC/OC
- Few single Moms upset HC flirting with several of them
- Dad pulls CB son does not like technique taught for Youth FB
- Drunk dad always late to practice with son, son brings me candy apology
- Team mom turns mortal enemy because do not ask son back
- Mom does not want son playing for white coach
- HS Coach Son must play QB
- Crazy mom goes insane on phone about her son and another team
- Coaches Parents do not like Beast SW Offense until SB win
- Parents love other Coach but I am the one who started the son
- Dad believes son is best QB on Team upset not starting
- Parents upset practice day changes music lessons conflict
- Mom tells me I can’t talk to son during try outs
- Player quits mom upset about how we run practices not like other coach
- Player broke leg before draft did not notify league pulls son whole season
- Mom upset about mid season weigh ins almost pulls son
- Mom upset son is not start RB this season shares carries
- As league official hit by parent after game asking them to exit field
- Dad screaming at son during drills ask him to stop then confronts me
- Dad upset son is not a starting running back but 2 play sub
- Dad thinks son is a stud QB but son not ready dad angry
- Dad / Coach turns on me during game about play calling
- Dad / Coach acts up when I am in charge of practices
- Problem Dad known by league creates problems for me all season
- Parent pulls players from practices on purpose due to playtime
- Parent continually yells kill them from stands during game
- Parents yelling about coach’s son hogging the football
- Parents yelling at coaches to pass the football as team scored td
- Parents jumping fence confronting coaches for loss / playtime
- Parents group texting team at 2am 13 times about issues
- Parent proactively causing issues in stands – her son not starting
- Parent / Coach arguing over practice field space
- Parent accuses me of cheating since we win to much
- Opposing Coach Blames new Football for the Score / Loss
1. Overzealous Dad Calls Blitz from Stands Lost Game
In my first season coaching youth football in Plano, Texas we had an overzealous dad that was always over the top with his young son; Blondie. His son played running back and linebacker. He was a very good linebacker for a nine year old. Since I was new to coaching youth football and not the head coach, I did not approach him to discuss his yelling and coaching his son from the stands during games. My lack of experience with sports parents cost our team during the playoffs.
We were ahead in the 4th quarter and he yelled from the stands for his son to blitz while I had called another stunt with a LB and DLM. Blondie stunting left a huge hole for the opposing RB to run a 60 yard TD and take the lead with less than 2 minutes remaining. We lost that game with time running out on the 1 yard line. Me and the dad had a talk after the game but the game and season was over. I learned first lesson about sports parents.
In my parent meetings we discuss coaching from the stands in detail. I actually talk about this incident. Do not let crazy sports parents ruin your trip to the Super Bowl.
2. Opposing Coach / Dad Screaming at Son for Fumble
In my 5th game as a youth football coach, an opposing player about to score a touchdown fumbles and turns the football over on the 5 yard line. We got lucky and I was smiling until the opposing coach rushes the field screaming at the poor pee wee running back still in shock slowly getting up off the ground from the fumble scrum.
I finally realized this was his son and the daddy ball coach / parent was berating him out on the field. The young volunteer ref did not handle the situation well and allowed this out of control parent coach to continue screaming at his son. The son looked at me since I was closer to him than his dad and I could tell he was scared of his dad. I decided to meet the dad half way between himself and his player / son and ask him to relax and stop screaming at his player in from of the other parents and fans.
It was like the opposing coach woke up out of a dream and stopped screaming. Well for a few moments and then redirected his anger at me. After a few choice words at me his son ran to the sidelines where momma was waiting to console him while dad continued lose that game because of his temper. He might have lost more than that game that day.
As coaches with sons on the team, one must remember that fans do not know that that player is your son. To us you are yelling and berating a youth football player. Not a good look. I have seen this issue too many times. Make sure to discuss how to act with sons on the team with your coaching staff. We have a rule that coaches cannot coach and or discipline their son that is on the team. I know the first tackle season with my oldest son team this rule helped me distance myself from these sports parents emotions. And the fact my OC sat me down and explained I needed to relax. LOL.
So what do you think of my 50 Toxic Sports Parents Experiences and Crazy Parent Issues?
Have you had any issues with Toxic Sports Parents? How did you handle the crazy sports parents? Did these situations make you ask yourself why am I volunteer coaching?
Let me know I would love to hear from you. Contact me anytime. I love to talk coaching youth football.
Follow me on Twitter @CoachParker_org
Remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
Good Luck this Season,
Keller, Texas, DFW, Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas