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Screamin' Meanies: Nightmare Sports Parents

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Katie Wisdom Weinstein: Springtime and softball games. Cut grass and worn leather softball mitts. Cut oranges, freshly raked dirt, smiling girls ... and wait, what is that noise? The screaming? Who are those people?

mom screaming at a kids sports game

Let me explain. My daughter loves her new softball team. At 10 years old, this is her first foray into team sports. The coach is amazing and patient with these cute butterballs on the field. Supportive and mellow, he coaches his pack of tweens like a pro. From the dugout I hear his cheering and enthusiasm.

The bleachers are another story. It is like a shark pit of unfounded dreams. The mom who brought the oranges and water for the team looked so nice when she sat down. She turns into a screaming maniac when the game starts. She begins to shame her overweight daughter. "Run! Run! Run faster! What is your problem?" There is a dad who paces the first baseline, screaming at these little girls to steal bases, and he berates the ump. Who are you people? Are you doing this to relive your glory sports days? Were you teased and mocked as a child and creating a new sporty image for your child? Hold the phone. I cannot manage it anymore.

I have had enough of the nightmare sports parents. I have taken to singing cheers and enlisted other friendly parents to do the same. We sit in the front row and drown out the screamin' meanies. Our faithful coach finally created a contract for parents. It states that no parent will yell unfriendly, unhelpful, or negative comments from the sidelines. Any parent found in violation will be asked to leave. Now, what was I saying? The smell of cut grass, fresh dirt....

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
AM  April 22, 2009, 1:14 PM

What terrible behavior those parents have. Unfortunately you see that everywhere nowadays. I love your idea of singing cheers and drowning our the negative ninnies, but I especially love that the coach had the parents sign that contract. With all the pushy, overly aggressive sports parents out there a contract that prohibits bad behavior should be standard for all involved.

Native_Momma April 22, 2009, 5:13 PM

This has been the gold standard at games since I was a tween. I must pat you on the back for coming up with a creative and undrama filled way to deal. That is so awesome! It was great for the coach to come up with the contract too.
When did people stop knowing what is the best way to behave?

MelissaF April 22, 2009, 9:09 PM

I LOVE this… Where is the fun for the kids when their parents are yelling stupid stuff from behind, to the side and all around? Is that supposed to keep them motivated??? I think not…

I’ll join the cheering section in the front, thank you — and I can’t sing!

Anonymous April 23, 2009, 3:57 PM

psycho sports parents

Sharon McEachern April 24, 2009, 1:08 PM

You might want to read up on the Sports’ Parents Code of Ethics” from the Natl. High School Athletics Coaches Assn. at:

Did you hear that there is now a genetic testing company in Colorado that claims it will test your kid’s DNA — if you send them some spit — and tell you if your child has any specific sports ability? OMG,imagine the expectations! Might as well sign the kid up early for long-term psychotherapy.

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