Family 411 - Being a good sports parent

Family 411 - Being a good sports parent

Moms and dads want to support their kids who play sports.

But, keep in mind: obnoxious sports parents ruin the experience for everyone.

Reporter Lu Ann Stoia has tips on how not to be “that parent,” in this edition of the “Family 411.”

As student-athletes put in the work on the field, nobody wants to get a trophy for “America's Worst Sports Parent.”

“Being out of control is never what a parent should be in the stands,” said Mark Wilson, a Sports Event Director. “Unfortunately, there are instances that has happened more commonly than what we would want.”

Wilson has watched three sons play football.

His son Jack, a junior athlete, reminds parents not to coach from the sidelines or to criticize other kids.

“They don't enjoy and they don't get better from their parents yelling at them from the stands,” said Jack.

Even though something might "flip your switch" as a parent, Athletic Directors say you shouldn’t yell at your child or get negative.

There are six words that could have a better impact.

“Whether they're second grade playing in youth leagues or they are at the highest level of sport, is: ‘I love to watch you play,’” said Richie Wildenhaus, an Athletic Director.

Players say, if you’re in the stands, being a loud-mouth isn’t insightful or entertaining, especially if it's about the other team.

“You can definitely hear taunts about our team and about our coaches,” said Jack. “I just think it is unsportsmanlike.”

As kids battle it out on the field, parents can face a fight of their own.

Experts say a physical fight is never appropriate and watching your words is important, too.

“What we always like to tell our parents is, ‘let the coaches coach. Let the officials officiate and let the kids play,’” said Wildenhaus.

Don't look too far down the field, either.

Wilson says, as a parent, you should enjoy the game for today and don't be worried about a college or NFL career.

“So let's try to keep it positive,” said Mark. “That will carry them a lot farther than negative.”

Wilson says, don't play the "blame game" if something does not go your child's way.

And you should watch out, too.

Bad sports parents can sometimes influence others to come over to the "dark side."

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