10 Types of Sports Parents. Which one are you?

Here are the different types of sports parents that I would identify - both good and bad:

The model parent
The competitive parent
The blase parent
The' living through your kids' parent
The outspoken parent
The 'coach' parent
The negative parent
The uncooperative parent'
My child is a superstar' parent

Obviously, the worst parent would be one who exhibits components of the latter nine types. But, once I explain what each of these parent types are, you will probably find that many of you fit into one of these categories. You may fit into more than one category as well.

There are two things to remember before you go through these descriptions:

1.) Parents may exhibit any or all of these traits to a certain degree.  The ones go to excess end up being a concern.
2.) Each of these types of parents can be dealt with!

The Model Parent

This is more of an altruistic look at what qualities a good sports parent embraces.
This is a look at the model parent:

  • The model parent supports their child in  and  out of the  athletic arena.    This involves encouragement, respect, and enthusiasm for the effort their child puts in.
  • The model parent shows their son or daughter respect when they are playing the game, and whether they win or lose.
  • The model parent has their children at all of the  practices and games with their proper equipment, and all of this is done on time.
  • The model parent helps other kids in need - those who need rides to and from practice, those who can't buy pizza after an away tournament, those who need the encouragement from someone on the sidelines because their parent isn't there.
  • The model parent is someone who is involved with the sport, and does what they can to make a coaches' life easier. They plan tournament accommodations, they arrange for transportation and In general they get involved.
  • The model parent shows up at all (or as many as they can) games, and makes their child's sporting endeavors a priority in their lives.
  • The model parent is stands behind decisions the coach makes in regards to their athlete (as long as the decision is fair and just), if there is a disciplinary issue.
  • The model parent does not try to 'coach' against what the real coach wants. They may not agree with the coaching philosophy, but they allow their child to learn and play within that system without interference.
  • The coaches know these parents. They are probably the ones they talk to on a regular basis, the ones who are always offering to help, and the ones with the kids who are happy playing the sport you are coaching.

The competitive parent

Some people are naturally competitive. It could have been bred from their own sports days, or they may have just developed a streak in them that gives them the desire to be better than others.

Here is what the competitive parent looks like:

  • The competitive parent places winning above everything.  It is a win-at-all-costs mentality.
  • The competitive parent expects their child to compete at the highest level they can to succeed.
  • They expect their child to hustle and do what it takes in the playing area to try and win the game.
  • They can get upset if their child doesn't display the same 'will-to-win' as they do when they compete.  It becomes frustrating for them to watch a lack of effort.
  • The competitive parent can't always understand when someone doesn't have the same drive as they do, to win.
  • The competitive parent may talk to the coach about things he or she thinks should be done so their child can win. They want to see their child winning, and they would like to offer their coaching 'expertise' to help them out.

The competitive parent may make comments to their children about a lack of effort, when a parent thinks that more can be done during a game or practice.

The competitive parent in itself is typically harmless, unless the competitive spirit starts to hurt other people.   What you have to watch out for is the competitive parent mixed with one of the other areas.

You will notice that each one of these parent types is relatively benign in nature - when they exhibit single traits. But, once they start to be three or four of the parent types, and to a greater degree, you quickly realize you are now fighting a multi-headed monster that can get out of control if you don't take action.

The blase parent

This is the parent that doesn't care whether their child is involved - but still paid the registration fee in order to get them enrolled. They don't mind if the child misses practices or games, and they aren't particularly interested in whether the child wins or loses.

Here is a deeper look at the blase parent:

  • The blase parent is one that neither supports nor criticizes their child in athletics.
  • The blase parent drives their child to practice (when they decide to go), leaves, and then picks the child up after practice.   They never comment about the practice, or really engage with the coaches or other parents about the practice or game.
  • The blase parent doesn't ask about their child's progress, or get concerned when they don't try hard or play up to their potential.
  • The blase parent usually has a smile on their face, and when you ask them how things are going, everything is usually going OK - no matter what the situation.

The blase parent, even though their personality is usually very passive, they can be frustrating to work with. They are hard to pin down for anything, and they typically aren't reliable. This is a hard one to combine with any other parent type, because the blase parent usually clashes with most of the other types.
The living through your kids' parent

Once again, if it gets carried away, it can become a problem. Parents can put too much pressure on their children because they know what they did to reach the level they achieved, so they push their children to get there as well.

You can tell this type of parent by these traits:

  • They are always telling their children about, "when I played, I always used to do this."
  • They can get upset with their children if they don't put in the same kind of effort they were expected to put in to achieve a high level of success.
  • The 'living through your kids' parent tells their child "it's not the way I used to do it."
  • This parent will push their kids to be the way they are, and to do things the way that they did when they were playing the sport.
  • This parent can be even more aggressive if their child is in the same sport they used to compete in.

The outspoken parent

This is one parent that can be especially dangerous to face, but if you can get them on your side, they can be equally powerful to your cause. They are the outspoken parents -the ones who are not afraid to say what is on their mind.

Here are some things you might encounter with the outspoken parent:

  • If they don't like the way their son or daughter is performing on the court etc., they may have no problem embarrassing their child in front of other's because of their outspoken nature.
  • The outspoken parent may decide they don't like the way the coach is doing his/her job and they will speak about it. Calling the coach in private is not their style, they would prefer to him/her out in public - and that is what makes them a problem.
  • This parent is not afraid to speak their mind - right, wrong, or otherwise.  This can cause friction with other parents, other players, and even with their own children.
  • The outspoken parents will have no problem confronting other parents, other coaches, officials, and even other players in order to get what they want to say off their chest.
  • The outspoken parent is usually a proud person who will defend their child no matter what the situation. They may tell you that you are wrong, despite the fact you are right, just to defend their children.
  • The outspoken parent can work in your favor if you can get them to respect you and your way of doing things.  If they are a positive parent who is outspoken, they can help you sway other parents, or create a positive influence among the entire organization.

The 'coach' parent

Once again, we have a parent type that can help, or hurt a coach direction. If they subscribe to the coach way of doing things, then the coach has another coach that can facilitate the learning process for their child in the elements of tennis.

Here are a few of the other traits you can expect from the 'coach' parent:

  • If something goes wrong with their child as a player, they will always resort to telling whoever will listen, what should have been done.
  • This parent may tell their child how they think they should be playing, and what to do in certain situations. This may or may not be parallel to what the coach has been coaching.
  • The athlete may go to a practice and after the coach has told them how to do something they say, "well, that's not how my mom/dad told me to do it."
  • The 'coach' parent (especially if combined with the outspoken one) will take you aside and offer you 'coaching' pointers. This might not be bad if the ideas are offered in a constructive way.
  • They may call the coach before a game and offer him different game plans or strategies for the next opponent.
  • The 'coach' parent is another type, which if combined with another negative parent type can be a real problem.
  • The critical parent: Alongside the negative parent type, this one can be one of the worst to deal with. They don't like much, and if they do like something you can bet there is something about it they don't like about it.
  • Here are a few of the other traits of the critical parent:
  • The critical parent may be critical of other players, other parents, officials and coaches.  This is never good and can cause tremendous friction between different areas.
  • The critical parents will  be  critical to their own  child,  and this can  hamper then child's performance. They feel a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to their parent's expectations.
  • The critical parent finds a way to criticize anything that is being done, even if there is a positive in it. This can be extremely detrimental to a child that needs to build on the positive strides it is making.

The critical parent, combined with being outspoken can be a disaster.   Try putting a lid on a parent who wants to be very vocal about their criticism.

The critical parent is where we start to draw the danger line. Once you get into the area where the behavior itself is a destructive one it can be a cancer.

Controlling the critical parent may be a considerable challenge, and one that can't be overlooked -simply because of what they can end up doing to the people around them.

The negative parent

You have probably met negative people in your life, and you can understand they are hard to deal with. Imagine them as parents of the children on your team. Nothing is done right - you can't coach right, the other parents don't know how to handle their children, the other children don't play like your, etc.

Other traits of the negative parent:

  • They will find the bad part of everything.   No matter how good something is, they will find a way to turn it into something bad.
  • Even if a child or parent does something good, they will find a way to bring it down.
  • The negative parent chooses to put people down, find flaws in almost anything, and will argue just for the sake of arguing.   They don't like agreeing with anything someone says, and this can affect coaches, other parents and players.
  • The negative parent will tell you all of the things that are wrong with your team and the players that are on it.
  • The negative parent always makes things more difficult on themselves, just because it is more important to be negative about things than positive.

The uncooperative parent

The uncooperative parent just simply isn't a team player.  They don't like doing anything for anyone but themselves.

Here are a few of the traits of the uncooperative parent:

  • The uncooperative parent will try to make things more difficult, when they can be easy.
  • The uncooperative parent will take a seemingly insignificant problem and make it worse because
  • of their unwillingness to cooperate with others.
  • The uncooperative parent can put a stop to plans or ideas, because they find a way to not do their part.

The uncooperative parent doesn't work well with other people. They cannot be a part of associations, committees and other group activities related to the team because they can make them more difficult by being the roadblock in the way of progress.

'My child is a superstar' parent: This one can be a gigantic problem waiting to happen. The model parent who truly believes his child is a superstar can be one of the biggest boosters to your program. They will do whatever they can to make the coach's training as good as possible, so their son or daughter can play on the best team.

Here are a few more traits from the parent who believes that their child is a superstar:

  • They will press the coaching staff to make sure that their child is set ahead of everyone else on the team.
  • They may bicker with other parents or the coaching staff about the efficient training their child is getting.
  • The 'my child is a superstar' parent might put down other kids or the coaches when they see that their child isn't playing as much as the parent thinks they should.
  • This parent may push their child extremely hard, sometimes to the detriment of the child, in order to get them to reach what the parent think is the child's potential.

> What's your opinion on this?
> Did you recognize your type/types?
> Do something about it!!