I was recently looking over the Sport Parent Code of Conduct sheet that many little leagues have mandated their parents to read and sign. I became so intrigued by the message and the professionalism of the document that I decided that I would spend a few blog entries discussing the importance of these words that are written.
In the second paragraph it states “Any parent guilty of improper conduct at any game or practice will be asked to leave the sports facility and be suspended from the following game. Repeat violations may cause a multiple game suspension, or the season forfeiture of the privilege of attending all games.”
The fact that this is needed is questionable, but based on my past and the stories that I have heard; this paragraph is essential. I can vividly remember multiple times when parents of little leaguers that I was playing against and with had parents who crossed the line. I can still remember seeing the faces of the kids drop in the dugout because dad is yelling again. These actions by parents permanently scar a young person. I am not overstating this; it permanently scars the individual. I have witnessed cursing, yelling and fights occurring because of a little league game.
I specifically remember and vividly recapture in my mind the moment when my father was kicked out of a little league game for arguing with the umpire. Not fun.
This is not a joke. Adults cannot complain about the youth of today if they do not model appropriate actions. Watching your kid play a sport is one of life’s great treasures. But guess what? One tirade by a parent might permanently take the joy away from the game. Being a parent at a sporting event is a nervous time. Channel that nervous energy into positivity so your kid can learn how to react when they get nervous.
Don’t make your kid answer for your actions. Don’t make your kid have to explain to his teammates why his father or mother are not allowed to attend future games. A love of a sport is a life-long love affair – don’t crush that love at an early age because of your actions.
Until Next Time,