5 Parents We HATE At Youth Baseball Games…I’m One Of Them
Ahh youth sports. Every parent has a "style" when it comes to their children's athletic career. With the fall season getting ready to kick off for baseball, I want to prepare you for the season ahead. You're about to see every style of parent at the baseball fields.
Some of them are perfectly acceptable...and some are just bad. This is the first season I haven't coached my oldest boy, and I'm quickly finding out what "style" I have. It's not a good one.
Being a coach for as long as I have been though has allowed me to see ALL types of parents from behind the scenes however. I can tell you there are certain types of parents I just...can't...stand. So here's 5 different types of baseball parents no one seems to like. Trust me, I've dealt with em all and you're gonna see them all as the WTYBA gets underway.
This is the parent who wants to argue with literally EVERYTHING going on.
Kid batting 6th in the lineup? "That's ridiculous, he's a leadoff guy. Look at what he's done the last few games!". Right, his last few games. What about the rest of the season?
Your kid got pulled off the mound in the middle of an inning? "What are you doing? He's only walked 5 over 2+ innings. He's still throwing strikes!". Sure, he's throwing some strikes...but he's also thrown 80 pitches. Want him to get out of the inning and blow his arm up at 10 years old? Yeah, didn't think so.
The worst though? When they disagree with basically EVERYTHING the umpire calls. This is the parent that will sit behind home plate and argue balls and strikes. Questionable call in the field? This parent is louder than the coach about it. You know it's bad when the umpire turns around threatens to kick the parent out of the game, yet they continue to argue. No place for these kinds of parents.
THE SIDELINE COACH
Ok, so this is the parent I'm learning I am...and I have to find a way to stop it.
This is the parent who follows their kid around the field, no matter where they are. In the outfield? That parent is standing right there on the fence coaching them every pitch. Kid is at the plate? That parent is right there behind home plate critiquing and coaching every aspect of their swing. Can't get close enough to your kid when they're in the field? That parent is hollering across the field to get their attention.
Here's the thing, this drove me CRAZY as a coach...and now I'm doing it myself. I'll admit it, I expect a lot out of my kids. We've spent a lot of time and money on getting them as good as they can be. I just need to remember I'm now a dad on the sidelines for my oldest. Time to let him play, make his mistakes and work em out later.
Here's my personal favorite to hate. These are the parents who immediately start talking bad about the coach, disparaging other kids talent, start spreading rumors based on a tiny comment they heard about someone. Wanna break up a team quick? Get yourself a couple of these parents.
It usually starts with just one parent, but a gossiper needs an ear to listen. So they find someone to nuzzle up to based on their body language and maybe things they've heard them say. It starts at practice with them just being chatty. Then it moves to the games where they find themselves just slightly out of earshot of the rest of the parents. After that, they're meeting up for coffee and this is where it becomes full blown.
One person quickly turns into five people and now you have a team divided. The gossiper however isn't usually what they start as. It's what they turn into. Who do they usually start as?
THE 'MY KID IS THE BEST' PARENT
Bingo. The gossiper is usually born from the "my kid is the best" mentality. This is the parent who brags about what they're kid did last season. "Well my kid led his team in batting average, doubles and RBI's when batting. He was also the ace pitcher and ALWAYS got wins. He also strikes out 1-2 kids per inning." That's a pretty typical statement for these parents to make.
They're usually the most vocal, even more so than the arguer. Why is that? Well you see, their kid was the starting shortstop on his previous team, but the coach on his new team really loves his skillset for the outfield. Maybe they have an equal ballplayer that can handle short, but isn't such a good outfielder. So all star gets moved to centerfield...and now it's game over. They'll start to talk smack about other kids on the team and how they're not better than their kid, etc. Cancer at its finest.
This parent becomes absolutely impossible to please. They start threatening to leave, begin talks with coaches on other teams, alienates themselves from all the parents because they're so self centered. Worst part? If you eventually move their kid back to shortstop, you'll get the inevitable "See? I told you that's where he should be. Too little, too late though".
The best part about this parent though is that they'll probably become someone else's problem next season. They've got a track record of jumping from team to team each season looking for the best place for their baby to shine.
THE SILENT KILLER
We are down to our final parent on this list...the silent killer. These parents scare me to absolute death as a coach. They'll show up for every practice, every game, always early. Try to make conversation with them? You get one word answers or a smile. You never know what they're thinking, how they feel about things, etc. Freaks...me...out.
As a parent though, they can come off so many different ways. You want to find ways to get them involved with other parents, but when you talk to them they either ignore you or brush you off. Are they just rude? Do they not like you? Are they just THAT serious about what's going on?
You never know, so you can't involve them. But then the final game or tourney of the season happens and they'll light up a room with chatter, eat and drink with everyone at the end of season gathering, etc. The most perplexing parent in all of baseball, and people just don't like a Rubik's Cube for a parent.