Get Your Teen Magazine in your inbox! Sign Up
Logo
Get Print Edition

A Letter To Sports Parents: Relax, It’s Just a Game!

I was recently at a high school sporting event and was amazed at the behavior of some parents. I am all for yelling and cheering loudly in support of the players. But I don’t understand what benefits come from parents negatively yelling at coaches, officials or even worse, the players!

Angry Parents At Sporting Events

I wonder, as either a participant or a spectator, what do you think about this type of behavior from parents? If you are a participant do you hear these comments and if so does it distract you?


Everybody has a competitive side, and at times it can get a bit aggressive. School sports are no exception. They have rivalries, disappointing moments and victories, just like any major league team. It becomes very personal, especially when the parents are watching their kids get their butts kicked.

If you look at it from a Darwinistic perspective, it’s a small model of a “survival of the fittest” situation. If a game were a life or death situation, then the more tactical and physically fit players would be the survivor. This kind of situation is bound to bring out something primal and defensive – even in suburban soccer moms and white collar dads, the epitomes of civilized life. I’ve read stories of violent fights that brought law-enforcement out to middle school soccer fields and worse school sports related disasters. It just comes to show that we are capable of being animals and dropping the refined manners of society at a moment’s notice. That’s humanity!


I remember playing soccer when I was in about second grade and my Dad was being particularly loud one game. He was cheering for me and giving me pointers as the game was going on. But in my mind it seemed more like he was yelling at me and criticizing how I was playing. I felt a tremendous amount of pressure and I even began to cry.

Fact is younger kids don’t tend to understand all the yelling. So when a parent is a little too vocal during a game it can be detrimental to everyone on the field. It’s really just crazy.

I can understand the yelling more during high school games because the players are more serious about what they are doing and everyone understands the reason behind the loud cheering.

So I say continue, it’s not really that big of a deal. As long as you aren’t getting violent, cheer, yell, swear at the refs for all I care. As long as you’re cheering for my side! Go Bucks!


As an athlete that’s on the field, I don’t really notice screaming parents that much, because I’m mainly focused on the game. However, sometimes in between plays or during a break, I do hear the parents from the stands.

I was watching a middle school game after one of our practices the other day. And as I was standing there, I see a father call a kid over. The player, who wasn’t even the man’s son, walks over and the man starts telling him what to do and how to do it when he goes back in the game. Now I think that is just ridiculous. Let the coaches coach, and let the parents watch. Believe it or not, the coaches actually know what they’re talking about.

Parents shouldn’t yell at their kids from the stands or try to coach them. To all the parents out there, come to watch, or don’t come at all.


What makes someone who is middle age, overweight and couldn’t make it as a high school sports star, let alone a bigger star, think that they are now an expert? Why do they think that the “advice” they yell from the stands should be deemed more important than the coaches instructions? And most important, how can I continue to find the strength to prevent myself from strangling them?

It’s a blast to cheer for your kids and their friends at a high school event. But seriously…I think we all know that this is not the pros. Our kids are never going to make the pros. Besides, that rare kid who might make it big is good enough already that he/ she doesn’t need our advice.

We’re supposed to be having fun. We’re supposed to be teaching our kids about competitiveness, sportsmanship, working as a team, and working hard for ones goals – in sports and in life! Be an example! Don’t spoil it by being that jerk in the stands who’s trying to relive their high school glory or make up for the glory they never had.

Mindy Gallagher

Mindy Gallagher is Your Teen Magazine’s social media editor and a mom to three boys.