Warning: Athletes you will totally understand this.
We all know growing up we are our parents’s favorite player on the field or court when playing sports. As we continue through grade school, to travel teams, to competitive summer leagues, and varsity teams in high school, sports integrate into every day life. We live it, breathe it, and our extra time outside school is usually spent doing it.
Before we get our licenses, our parents are usually the ones schlepping us around from practice to games to tournaments and to private lessons. They become so involved and invested in our teams just as much as we do. They spend the time and usually lots of money to make sure we have the proper equipment, uniforms, and pay the team fees.
So it’s no wonder that we come across the many different species of parents when it comes to watching their children play sports and rooting them on.
It makes sense that they get passionate about our sports performance because it’s human nature to want your child to succeed and do well. However when good performance isn’t always the case, that’s when the true forms come out.
Below I have listed some of the generic types of Athlete Parents we have all come to know and some love/hate. They are rated on a 5-star system for their insanity during the games (with 5 stars being the most insane).
The Previous Athlete – ★★☆☆☆
There is always a dad or mom that previously performed in the sports their children are participating in. They can usually be found sporting the hat or t-shirt of their children’s team and sitting close enough to the field or court to be seen by their child but not heard. Usually their activities include discussing with other parents their own accomplishments from their past or “their experiences”. They also have a tendency to keep to themselves during the game and occasionally cheer for a genuinely good play during the competition whether it’s their child or not.
Team Mom (or Dad) – ★★★☆☆
The team mom usually is the one that brings the goodies and snacks for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE. Juice boxes, fruit, crackers, gum, sunflower seeds, cupcakes for birthdays, or cookies just because. Usually there is enough food to feed the team, the families, and even the other team and their families. Usually towing the cooler from behind with enough ice to replenish the Arctic Sea, this parent will catch brief snippets of the game because they are too busy passing out food or making a run to the local convenience store because they ran out of napkins.
The Clueless Parents – ★☆☆☆☆
These parents are usually the least harmful ones. They will sit around the crowd of other parents and bring their book or iPad for entertainment during the games. They will sometimes look up when they hear clapping and cheering but won’t really have a clue of what is going on. After the game they chat with their children about the game but when ask if they saw “that goal” or “really great play” they won’t really know what they are talking about. They also have a tendency to bring their children late to practices and games.
The Distanced Parents – ★★★★☆
These parents may look like they have a high insane rating for distancing themselves but it’s like the “silent but deadly” theme here. These parents will usually go out of their way to sit as far away from their children, the team, and the crowd as possible. They will be on their own little island of insanity. They don’t want to talk to others about their kids, they don’t want to interact with anyone, and this can usually correlate to the fact that they talk shit on everyone. Usually at the conclusion of the game they just criticize everyone on the team and instruct their child on what they can do differently next time.
“Those” Parents – ★★★★★
I shouldn’t even have to explain what kind of parents these are. We all know. They’re the kind that are shouting at officials and yelling at the team when they have a mistake, while also being the loudest cheerleader on the sideline. They often think that their child’s athletic ability is the greatest gift to mankind since sliced bread. Usually every conversation you ever have with them reverts back to their child’s personal version of SportsCenter Top 10 Plays in their little league career. They are constantly raving about the latest college visit or recruiter they talked to. Their biggest problem is that they think their child will get a full-ride to a Division 1 College and will be the next LeBron James homegrown star. Stay away.
I’m Going To Be An Insane Parent One Day
So I’ve come to realization that I am absolutely going to be my child’s biggest fan on the sidelines and I know I’m going to be a little insane about their performance, but that’s just my nature. I’m competitive and I like to win. It’s part of how I operate, but I know when I shouldn’t being making an ass of myself.
Sports are a great way to build character and learn life skills like leadership, goal-setting, and accomplishments but they aren’t life. There’s a very small chance that my children will be a professional athlete, so for now, I plan to be a little insane on the sidelines but I have a good dose of reality. Sports are not life, they are only part of it.