MY previous column regarding misbehaving parents in the field got a reaction from another parent who encountered similar behavior while following his son’s games.
He was happy that I raised the topic since he’s been looking for someone to share his story with. At one point, he wanted to call the head of the school to inform them about the behavior of their parents in their games.
“It is okay to cheer during games but not to the extent of calling the names of the opposing teams/players in a wrong way,” he wrote.
This has been the no. 1 complaint that I’ve heard in the sidelines over the years and I have to say, there are a lot of guilty teams. When emotions run high, the emotions of the parents in the background run higher.
I remember one group of parents lambasting another group for calling their sons names but then a week later, they themselves were guilty of doing it.
How does one control this?
I really don’t know but I do know that there are efforts to educate the parents. Coaches or fellow parents who are familiar with the game educate those who do not know on the proper conduct.
But sadly it’s the bad apples that get noticed and destroy the reputation of a school.
The e-mail sender asked if there is something the local association can do about this but save for requiring every new football parent to attend a seminar, the local FA is powerless over this.
It can only act if there is a complaint and sadly, there’s only going to be a complaint if there is already an incident.
But still, over the years, I’ve heard of cases where it’s the children themselves who punish their overbearing parents.
I’ve heard that the son of the guy who punched a referee after a game because he was disgruntled with the call stopped playing altogether, a slap on the overbearing dad. Another player, whose parent went to the extent of going to the tax authorities in an effort to get back at a coach who didn’t pick her son, also stopped playing.
Why? It’s simple. The coaches who relayed those info said they were embarrassed by their parents’ actions and football, for them, was no longer fun.
Fun. That should be the no. 1 thing on the mind of the parents of the kids watching in the stands.
It’s sports. Let the kids play. Let them have fun. Let them enjoy. The refs will make a mistake or two. The other team will make a foul or two or more. Don’t go ballistic.