We’ve all been to a kid’s soccer game and seen the parents who take it too seriously. They’re like cliches out of bad movies, and yet, they scream and yell inappropriately from the sideline, unaware that they’re making the whole experience less fun for spectators and the athletes. But what factors contribute to these parents taking sports too seriously?
According to Mark Hyman, author of Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids, it’s the dreams of professional athletic glory and college scholarships, as well as parents living vicariously through their kids. These parents push their kids to the point where sports are doing more harm than good. The American Academy of Pediatrics says there is also a rising trend of sports injuries, thanks to pressures of year-round sports seasons. The group recommends that young athletes take at least one or two days off from playing, practicing, and training each week, and that each child should only play one sport per season.
All in all, it’s perhaps not so bad being that loud, raucous parent cheering on the sideline — as long as the enthusiasm doesn’t translate into unsurmountable and dangerous athletic pressures for your child.
How do know when competitive sports are too competitive? Where do you draw that line?