Parents and Youth Sports

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ENC 1101
02 October 2011
Parental Violence Overcoming Childhood On a gorgeous, sunny, Sunday afternoon a mother and father walk their son to the field for his soccer game.  All the while smiling, and encouraging their son to have “FUN”.  The soccer game begins and so does the yelling.  “Move faster son”, “You should have gotten that ball”, “Can’t you run faster than that?”, “That was such a stupid move”, “Don’t be so dumb”.  Things only get worse.   The name calling, the arm grabbing start, then the yelling at the other parents and coaches begins.  Louder and louder, finally things escalate to the point of being asked to leave the soccer game.  Who would have thought that a 7 year olds soccer game could change this supportive family into the “Wild Parent Beast”.  Youth sports seem to invite parents to try to live vicariously through their children.  Not only do the children suffer, but those who volunteer (i.e., coaches, team mom and other parents) do too.   

The majority of parents sit quietly, supporting their team, cheering only when appropriate.  There are minorities that are trying desperately to live their childhood sports fantasies through their son or daughter.   A father whose son was on the Dodgers, a Little League baseball team, came up to a volunteer coach and exclaimed his 4 year old son is a switch hitter and that the coach needs to work with his son to develop this skill.  The father expressed that “My son will play Pro-Ball when he is older”.  The dream to be a professional baseball player was that of the father, not that of the son.  This parent crossed the line between caring and living Kumar 2 the child’s life for him.  This child, when he reaches adulthood, will have boundary issues and not have a clear sense of self.  What will he like will be...
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