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This Youth Baseball Coach Reveals His Biggest Red Flag For Sports Parents

"This is typically a recipe for disaster..."

Originally Published: 
A youth baseball coach revealed his number one red flag when it comes to parents and some advice on ...
@legends_baseball / TikTok

Can anyone argue that parents are why most of the fun is taken out of youth sports? Parents heckle umpires to the point where they quit during the middle of a game. They get into fights with other parents. They scream at their kids from the stands. These kids are five or six years old, barely understanding how to play the sport, and yet, parents are taking things astronomically seriously.

Where has proper etiquette gone when it comes to watching kids play sports?

From a coach's perspective, all of this behavior ruins the purpose of getting kids involved in youth sports. David Klein, Founder and Coach of Legends Baseball Camp, posted a poignant TikTok, revealing his number one red flag when it comes to parents and some advice on how to not be “that parent.”

“In youth baseball games, one of the biggest red flags that I see is the player stepping up to the plate, and in between pitches, he's looking out into the stands at his dad or his mom who's yelling instructions to them,” Klein said. “Parents: do not be this type of parent. We want our kids to play freely without fear of failure.”

Klein goes on to say that there is nothing more cringe than a parent screaming a their kid from the stands, distracting their focus from the game and adding unneeded pressure on their child.

He continued: “This is typically a recipe for disaster because we know that this kid is up there trying to appease their parents, trying to do good by them instead of just being out there having fun, playing baseball, learning to fail, and how to recover from it without their parents being in their ears.”

After the video started to circulate, several parents and coaches chimed in with their own thoughts on overbearing parents in youth sports

“Sadly some parents don’t get this and their children stop loving the sport,” one user wrote.

Another dad dad wrote, “Youth? There are parents on my sons 14u team that still do this! #cutTheCord Let your kid play”

What kind of example are parents setting for their kids if their disrespectful and out of line during a youth sports game? According to research, a terrible example.

In a new study from the University of South Australia (UniSA), researchers found a link between parents’ sideline conduct and athletes’ behaviors.

When parents behaved well — applauding good play, encouraging players, and enjoying the game — their child was more likely to project positive behavior.

However, the more a parent behaved poorly – being overly critical, second-guessing the referee, or yelling abusive words — their child exhibited more antisocial behaviors.

Lead researcher on the study, Alyson J. Crozier, says that good sportsmanship is the cornerstone of a positive sports experience.

“Children get far more enjoyment from playing sports when a parent is present, encouraging, and supportive. Such behaviors also help build a child’s self-esteem, and improve their life skills and wellbeing,” Crozier says.

“Yet poor parent behaviors can reduce a player’s confidence and damage their emotional and physiological well-being. In some cases, they can even lead to a child withdrawing from a sport altogether.”

In other words: if you want your kid to play sports, just sit back and let them play.

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