Watching sports at the amateur level should be a lot of fun. Coaches constructing teams, & schemes. Kids are trying out for local, travel & AAU teams. I would like to believe that parents are “happy” to watch kids play in a competitive environment. Not true.
I started writing this in January 2018 based on some of my experiences & those of my close friends who have AAU basketball programs. It seems as though parents wait until the AAU basketball season starts to become unruly, ignorant & ugly after sitting in the stands quietly during their child’s school ball season. There is a clear lack of respect for team, coaching & the game.
A confidant of mine had a top ranked player in the 2020. The kid left program after helping his family get flights (including the dog), hotel rooms, multiple pairs of shoes & spending money. The kid eventually left going to another program leaving my friend’s team in a bad space. These kind of stories resonate around the country, & the kids with these stories aren’t nearly as talent.
Parents with legitimate concerns like finances, safety & player development are issues that should be addressed. A parent constantly complaining about everything should not be. Uniform colors, team meals, shoes etc…yea, no. Parents wanting to be involved with practice plans, no. Coaches should get rid of this parent(s)/players, even if the their child is your best player. You will have more success & harmony than you will in chaos. That parent is going to leave anyway so you may as well just cut ties early. Christopher Marlowe wrote “misery loves company.”
Coaches should get rid of this parent(s)/player, even if the child is the best player.
There are different types of negative parents:
- Constructive/destructive parent. They help, take an “all in” approach at the start/program. When they don’t get their way, they will try to sabotage the team.
- The mine is better than the others parent. The parent believes that their child is better than someone getting more minutes. The players on any team has to win the trust of the coach. That’s how you find your way into more minutes.
- Unhappy with everything parent.
Sport should be about competition, enjoyment & team. When we become selfish, we lose the essence of all the above. We all want the very best for our children. In order to do that we have to be supportive of the organization, players, other parents & coaches. Most important is that we set an example for our own child. They watch & learn from their parents first.