Earlier this week we posted an article about helicopter sports parents, those ones that get a touch too involved in their child’s athletic career. And while most have good intentions (even if they are a bit overzealous about it) sometimes you run into a sports mom or dad that thinks their child is Heir Jordan. And they want to make sure that everyone else knows it to. One of our Little League moms dropped this comment a few weeks ago and we had to share,
In the past few years my son has played with kids whose parents think they are the next Major League Superstar. Which In Itself is fine to feel; however, when they make it known to all the other parents how much better their kid is than the rest of the team it is a problem…Those parents can be a huge obstacle for the team (players, coaches and parents) to overcome.
As parents we’re all immensely proud of everything our children do and we want to celebrate their accomplishments be it in school, in sports, or any other extracurricular activity. But we think our baseball mom makes a good point. Sometimes some sports parents take their praising a little too far and it starts to come across as boasting and bragging. Suddenly every side comment during practice and games is about how awesome and amazing their child is; “Did you see that grab? No one else can get to the ball that fast.” “We’ve already started talking to the high school coaches. They say he’s going to be a superstar.” “He just doesn’t have any competition in this league. We’re thinking of having him play up.”
Not only does this start to rub the rest of the team’s sports parents the wrong way, if one of the other players hears this mom or dad’s comments it might start to impact the dynamic of the team. What if their teammates start to resent the parent-proclaimed “superstar?” One of the most important factors to having a successful season, regardless of the sport, is teamwork. Individual players have to learn to rely on and trust each other, to learn what their role and function is on the field/court and how that factors into the team overall. If one of those players is turned into the outcast (especially in a sport like basketball where only 5 people are on the court at a time) how will that impact their teamwork?
Boastful sports parents can also put the coach in an awkward position. It’s probably not unreasonable to assume that many of the “sideline coaches” on a team (the ones that holler directions and advice at their players) are the same ones that think their child is going to be the next best thing in sports. After all, the coach is telling their slugger to bunt when clearly he should be swinging for the fences! And college scouts are going to want to see power, right? Sideline coaches can actually undermine the authority of the coach and even put their own athlete’s in an uncomfortable position—do they listen to the coach or to their mom/dad?
Have you ever had to deal with a sports parent that thought their kid was destined to be the next big thing in sports and made sure everyone knew it? How did you handle it? We’d love to hear from coaches and other parents alike!