Having been involved at every level of youth sports for 40+ years – as a player, as a coach, and as a parent – I recognize how well intended, but severely misguided, many ‘youth sports parents’ are.

Their sideline antics are taking the fun out of the game. Statistically we are seeing kids drop out of sports at an alarming rate. It breaks my heart.

Attention Youth Sports Parents:

Screaming ‘Call the foul, ref!’ serves absolutely NO positive purpose. None.

Even if a foul was missed… you yelling it DOES NOT HELP IN ANY WAY.

1) The ref missed it. So what? It happens. It’s over. Move on. You screaming doesn’t change anything.

2) You are unconsciously teaching your child that it is OK to make excuses, to blame someone else, and to complain when things don’t go their way. This breeds entitlement and lower performance.

3) Referees are human beings. They have feelings. Giving them a hard time actually DECREASES the chance of the ‘next call going your way.’ Referees have unconscious biases just like you do.

4) You are drastically increasing chaos and making it harder for your child – and everyone else’s – to focus, move to the ‘next play’, and have fun.

5) You are embarrassing your child. These words have NEVER been spoken in the HISTORY of youth sports:

“Hey, did you hear my mom & dad screaming at the ref during my game? How awesome was that?! Aren’t they the best?!”

6) You are making it a lot less enjoyable for the other parents and players. Remember, this game ain’t about you.

My advice?

Sit quietly, cheer if you feel compelled, and simply enjoy watching your child do something they love.

Parents can make it bad for their child no matter what they think. The Club season and the NCAA live Period is about to start: Parents understand YOU have to do something different besides being negative at your lil ones games.

Happy Cheering!

Cynthia F. Guillory