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Parents, Are You Obsessed With Your Child Playing Sports? September 16, 2007

Posted by Marquis Chapman in Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, College Basketball, College Football, Football, Sports.

It’s one thing to show your child support and encouragement when he or she is involved in sports.  It’s a completely different situation however, to be obsessed.  Here are the top 10 clues that can help determine if you are a parent who is obsessed with your child playing sports.

10.  You make it a point to be the team mom or dad.

9.  It is an absolute must for you to attend every practice and stay to the very end.

8.  You attend games and only cheer for your child.

7.  You feel like a failure when your child has a bad game.

6.  When conversing with other parents, you find yourself constantly bringing up sports no matter the setting.

5.  You’ve become very good friends with the head coach and constantly give him tips on how to make the team better (the tips usually involve drawing up more plays for your child).

4.  You pick your child’s highschool based on sports and not academics.

3.  You’ve never talked to your child about the importance of sportsmanship, teamwork, and having fun when playing sports.

2.  When your child is academically ineligible, you don’t scold your child, but rather blame the coach and the school policy for not letting them play.

1.  No matter how bad your child is at sports, you feel that he or she should get a full ride athletic scholarship, and if they don’t, you blame the coach for not pushing them to reach their full potential.



1. K.C. - September 17, 2007

There was a time in a galaxy far far away when kids played sports to build character and enhance self esteem. Sports also taught kids the importance of working together as a team and accomplishing a goal. We have become so far removed from that in our culture. There was also a time when boys played football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track or basaeball in the spring. The problem may have started with the advent of specialization in sports( i.e. travel teams and or club teams ) This has taken us to a whole new level of youth sports. I do not think that club teams are bad in and of themselves they just need some regulation and some ethical standards like the high school sports programs have. We have stooped to the level of enticing kids to play for certain club teams by offering certain benefits like tennis shoes and free sign up fees. Just so some parent or coach can say we have the best team. Unfortunately parents will always live vicarously through their kids the world is full of high school jocks who didnt make it to a college on a D-1 scholarship,and who thinks if he didnt make it then his offspring certainly will . The unfortunate loser in this scenario is his child who may not want to play a sport. I have observed many of the examples that you have listed above of the obsessed parent. I only wish the parent and the child would extend the same amount of resources on academics as they do sports. Some parents will spend 200 bucks for a pair of tennis shoes,but will frown on the idea of spending 40 bucks for a text book.Kids start playing sports for one reason and one reason only. Because its fun and it gives them enjoyment.Unfortunately parents and some coaches ruin it for them. Another sad fact is parents have no idea how hard it is to get a atheletic scholarship they think because ” little Johnny” is the Y.M.C.A. champion in his particuliar sport that he is destined to get a scholarship. So they start their mission toward that goal when little Johnny is in grade school. Not really having a true assesement of little Johnnies actual talent.

2. D.C. - September 17, 2007

Thanks for this very important topic. Sports programs usually send home information related to rules, policies and what is expected from athletes regarding grades and their behavior that parents must sign and return. Sounds like most forget to read it.

3. Sentimental - September 17, 2007

May not be a bad idea to make it mandatory for schools to include information on or offer a class on “how to be a good sports parent.” Could help us see a decline on the number of parents who attack officials, coaches, other parents and kids.

4. FemaleFan - September 17, 2007

Here’s my take on why they are obsessed:

Point 10: Obsessed parents don’t trust the program their child is participating in. They figure if they become a team mom or dad, they will get inside information on what’s going on and more importantly feel like they have a right to give their opinion or advice on how the program should be ran which most of the time only focuses on their child.

Point 9: By attending every practice, they point out issues related to their child in an attempt to pressure the coach into making the practice a one on one session for their child and not the team. They make sure their child is getting the attention they, the parent, feel they should have which in most cases is more than the team practice.

Point 8: I sit far away from parents like this just so I can enjoy the game. In their opinion, no child on the team or the court, field or track for that matter is as good as their child. They sit there and instead of enjoying the game, they miss it because they are too busy criticizing and critiquing it. They don’t realize that their child is not the only one on the team or the greatest player on the team. They constantly call plays and give advice, not encouragement, from the stands and yell at the refs and coaches and even their child and their child’s teammates. Adults who yell insults to the opposing team should be ashamed of themselves. These are kids for goodness sakes! Cheering for kids on your child’s team and the opposing team shows good sportsmanship. If parents don’t show it, how can we expect kids to learn and practice it?

Point 7: They feel like a failure when their child has a bad game because they haven’t accomplished the goal most obsessed parents have – controlling the coach, games and practices rather than working with their child and giving them pointers and encouragement.

Point 6: These parents don’t realize how annoying this is. Obsessed parents will bring up sports no matter where they are in an effort to see where someone else stands (if you agree with them). They are looking for an alliance and are looking to see if they have one in you. After all, there is strength in numbers and if they can find someone else to share even one opinion with them, they feel they are justified in all of their feelings.

Point 5: Ties into point 9. It’s all about how much they can control.

Point 4: If their child is not the center of attention on a team, it’s the coaching, program or the schools fault. They move their child from school to school in an attempt to seek out a program that they feel best fits their child. This usually is a school with a program where their child can dominate the sport(s) they are playing. They don’t realize that the child may be a stand out athlete because the program is not so great, the school does not focus on academics and the coaching staff only cares about the W’s and not the child.

Point 3: In addition to point 8 above, they forget sports should be fun for kids first and competitive second. If the child is not enjoying sports then naturally they will not be good at it. Obsessed parents often try to relive their dreams through their child. They either have played or wish they had played and want their child to live up to their unrealistic expectations.

Point 2: They forget to stress academics come first, sports second. Playing sports is a reward for the good grades, not the other way around.

Point 1: They neglect to stress academics setting their child up for disappointments when sports don’t work out. Rather than taking the responsibility themselves, it’s easier to blame someone else, i.e. the coach or the school, constantly ranting and raving how the coach or the school did not help their child reach their full potential.

5. O.D. - February 25, 2010

check this out.

6. VeroDet - January 25, 2014

I had sports-obsessed parents, but they were obsessed in a different way. When I was very young and showed no inclination toward or desire to participate in sports, that didn’t stop my mother from forcing me to play them. And then, she would scream her head off at games. But the worst came after the games. If I hadn’t played up to her expectations, she really ripped into me – and she made it personal. I still resent her for it, and I feel bad for anyone who has to deal with that sort of psychological abuse.

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