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Today’s rant is about the Crazed Parents of children in youth sports.

I grew up playing sports.

In Jamaica we played soccer or what we called football. It was so bad that when we didn’t have a ball we would mash juice boxes together to create this solid object big enough and strong enough for us to kick around. It didn’t have to be round or bounce like a ball, It just had to be good enough for us to dribble with and shoot. Great times.
Back in the day when we use to get a bunch of kids together to go to the park and play football, basketball, kickball. We even played baseball if we could get the kid who had the bats to come out. It was all about having fun and competing too.

As we got a little older, during the years of organized sports when things became more serious, it was still fun.
I contribute that to having  some really good coaches that pushed you but also created an environment that fostered enjoying.

As An Adult

With all hopes of playing professional sports out of the picture. I get a lot of enjoyment from watching my sons participate in youth sports.
My two sons both played soccer first like their old man and they both became to love football as well.
I tried to steer them away but they enjoy it.
As someone who came up in the old school ways of football. I understand the mentality and mind set required to play a highly aggressive contact sport like football. And its great to see some kids that kind of have that edge to them when their playing, especially at a young age.
But some parents are so hard on their kids when it comes to some of these youth leagues. You would think they had money on the games or something.
That pressure can sometimes take the fun out of playing, which is why most of them sign up to do it in the first place.
Plus, there’s a lot to learn from organized sports, teamwork, discipline, learning about yourself and your limits. Finding out what it takes to push yourself to get stronger and the work it takes to get better.
Those lessons are hard enough to learn for anyone much less 8 and 9 year old kids.

Parents of a child playing youth sport

The things I have heard from some parents at some of my son’s practice and games is tough to chew sometimes.
I realized I have fun when they have fun.
My only expectations at that point was for them to be committed to the team he joined and do the work that comes along with that. And have fun learning and doing it.
All I’m saying is you can push kids to excel but find the balance to also allow them to find some fun in what they’re doing.
Don’t be that crazed youth sport parent that takes the fun out of your kid playing a sport they enjoy.