Game Day

A Warning to Sideline "Coaches": Just Let The Players Play

Australian tennis pro Bernard Tomic made an unusual request last weekend to the chair umpire during his quarter-final match at the Sony Ericsson Tennis Open in Miami. 

During a changeover he asked to have his dad "banished from the stands."  Seems his dad was, according to an article in USA Today, "noticeably upset with his son's performance", which the reader and fans might conclude, would impact Tomic's ability to focus. "He's annoying me. I know he's my father, but he's annoying me. I want him to leave as soon as possible," Tomic reportedly told the umpire.

As a sports parent and an official, I have witnessed first hand the effects of inappropriate sideline coaching from parents. Players rarely perform better when adults other than their coaches bark commands, make faces, gestures or statements intended to motivate.  While some would argue that such behavior is well meaning or overzealous, I respectfully disagree.  Such behavior is disrespectful and detrimental to the game, coaches, team, parents, and most of all, the players.

Advice to Sports Parents: Stress Fun, Building Skills

With the increasing focus in youth sports on success, a sports psychologist and former elite short track cyclist says parents should emphasize practice to play, leaving their expectations at home on game day, and being motivated by a desire to have fun, not achieve results.

Parents Should Support, Not Criticize Sports Performance

The last thing a child needs to hear on the sports sideline is a parent giving coaching pointers or putting pressure on them to perform. What they want most is unconditional support and encouragement.

Approaching Officials During Game: A Bad Idea for Parents and Spectators

The commissioner of an interscholastic sports league says it is never appropriate for a parent to approach a game official during a break in the action.

Getting Along with Baseball Umpires: Nine Tips For Parents and Coaches

How can coaches and parents best work with an umpire, given that they are likely at some point to blow a call? Coach Clemens offers nine tips for getting along with "Blue."

Pre-Competition Routine Helps Athletic Performance

Parents and coaches who help athletes develop a pre-competition routine will see enormous dividends.   Tweaked to fit a child’s specific needs, it can be valuable not only for sports (such as cross-country and track), but for tests at school, or virtually any activity.

Jack a Single

Do what you can and trust your team. We learned that last week.

Boy we had a blast at out baseball tournament last week. Our boys showed a lot of determination, integrity, and ingenuity. They even trusted their coaches.

On our first day of the tournament, we lost two games. One was close, the other we got mercy-ruled. On the next day of pool play we won both games. Decisively! Going into bracket play then we had a 2-2 record, but with 25 runs scored in the previous day's play, we got a second seed.

Setting Boundaries But Supporting Independence Work Best For Sports Parents, Study Says

Parents who set boundaries and expectations for their teenage daughters but encouraged independence within those limits were better able to gauge their child's mood, provide feedback on their child's sports performance at the right time, and maintain open lines of communication, a Canadian study finds.

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