Parents on the sidelines – screamers, armchair players, or sideline coaches?

CheeringCrowd This is part of a week-long series on youth and sports: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

What roles do parents play in the drama of youth sports?

A regular reader proposed these three in an email: screamers, armchair players, and sideline coaches.

    “Screamers: obvious. They usually scream at the referee.   
    “Armchair players: parents on the sidelines who actually stand, run, and kick like they have possessed their child’s body and are on the field.
    “Sideline coaches: Player-Wanna-Bees who usually scream insightful direction such as, “Kick it”, “Go to the goal”, and “Shoot”. Or my favorite: the over-zealous dad who had a ‘secret’ number for his daughter so when he screamed her ‘fake’ number no one would know who he was talking to. Except we did.”
    I’ve seen these roles, too. Have you? Are there other roles that you would add to the drama?

Parents play pivotal roles in how their children enjoy, experience, and benefit from sports. Often, parents believe they are being supportive, experts say, but their children feel pressure. Even parents push their kids, the children perceive much more pressure than their parents believe they are exerting.
    And, the more a father pressures his son or daughter, the lower the child’s positive feeings about the sport.
    What positive role models have you seen – parents or coaches? What role do you play with your children? What do you recall from your own parents?

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