Like most of the news, stories about youth sports often focus on the dark-side of things—stories of parents getting into fight at games, coaches verbally, physically or sexually abusing their players, league administrators caught robbing their organizations, and more. While we realize we don’t live in a perfect world and we shouldn’t look the other way when we hear about these stories (especially when it comes to abuse), we at SportsSignup feel it’s even more important to celebrate all the good that comes out of youth sports programs! And that doesn’t just mean celebrating the achievement of the players as they grow as athletes, it also means celebrating the good things that sports parents do for their teams.
Here are three things that we feel most sports parents should get a pat on the back for:
1. Sports parents are the reasons we have youth athletes.
Let’s be honest, most 6-year-olds can’t sign themselves up for Little League; it’s often sports parents that get their kids interested and involved in youth sports in the first place. Most sports parents AREN’T in it for the future college scholarships, or the chance to relive their own glory days. They want their children to play because youth sports teaches dedication, teamwork, leadership skills, how to win/lose with dignity, and more. Don’t let “those” sports parents ruin the reputation of sports moms and dads as a whole!
2. Sports parents learn as they go.
Most coaches are actually sports moms and dads who volunteered, not professional coaches or athletic trainers looking for a side job. Some of them probably played sports in high school, and some maybe even in college. But most sports parent-coaches have little to no training when it comes to being a coach, so they are learning on the job! Not everyone can be a great sports coach right out of the gate, and while we’ve all had to deal with a terrible coach at some point, let’s not forget about those sports moms and dads who were willing to volunteer when no one else would to coach our kids! It takes a lot of courage to take responsibility for a dozen or so young athletes (and learn to cope with “those” sports parents along the way).
3. Sports parents juggle a lot.
Multiple kids means multiple teams and multiple games and practice schedules. Plus there are after-school activities to coordinate, doctor’s appointments to get to, family vacations to plan, sleep-overs to schedule, and so much more! Most sports parents are easily trying to cram three or four people’s schedules into one calendar and for the most part they make it happen. No one is perfect and sometimes they run late to practice, but most sports parents understand the important of getting kids to the game on time and try their hardest to make it work.
What do the sports parents do on your team or for your youth sports league that deserves recognition? There are plenty of stories of when sports parents screw up but we think it’s time to start celebrating all the good and positive things they do for our communities.