Don’t ruin it for the kids

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Sports Editor

After talking to Troy Park and Recreation Director Dan Smith and some other folks on the subject, I was reintroduced to probably one of the worst aspects of youth sports – irate parents.

To to most of the ball parks in this area like the Sportsplex here in Troy and you’ll notice some signs hanging on the fences that say things like "no profanity" or "please watch your actions, your children are watching you." Good advice if you ask me, but those kind of warnings don’t always do the trick.

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It’s understandable that when a parent watches their child perform in something as exciting as baseball or football or any other type of sport, that they want them to do well. And when they are on the field, they are without a doubt the most important person in the world at that moment – to that parent that is. For all the other parents their individual child or children are just as important.

So what does this give us? A highly volatile situation if cooler heads don’t prevail.

Whenever there is a questionable call or a mistake that involves someone’s child there will always be someone who is not satisfied. The problem comes when over-anxious parents turn the love and desire they have for their child and their success into rage because they might not be getting their way.

As we approach Troy Park and Rec’s opening day for the summer youth leagues this weekend, there is always a lot of excitement, but the the thing we all have to realize is that every kid that plays is not Ken Griffey Jr. and will more than likely never reach that level.

As important as it seems at the time, it is actually little league folks and in the greater scheme of things it’s all about as important as the scummy stuff underneath my fridge.

Sure I look back on my little league days with fondness, but I can’t remember more than a couple of actual games I played. I do, however, remember every single instance where a parent made an idiot of themselves and in the process embarrassed every fiber in their kid’s body.

I’m a huge advocate of parents getting involved in their children’s lives. I think it is essential for them to be at every ball game, every concert, heck every potty-training session, but to much is worse than none at all in my book.

If a child’s parents get to involved I don’t care how much you might think that you are helping you ARE NOT! And you’re child will let you know this by not wanting to perform anymore or not actually having fun at what they are doing.

Dan Smith made a good point when I talked to him. It’s all SUPPOSED to be fun, but how many times have you gone out to the park and saw kids and parents having anything BUT fun. More times than I would like to remember.

Kids will only be kids once, Lets let THEM enjoy it.