Family 411: Good sports parents

How to be a good sports parent (WSYX)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - Moms and dads want to support their kids who play sports. But obnoxious sports parents ruin it for everyone.

As student-athletes put in the work on the field, no one wants to get a trophy for America's worst sports parent. "Being out of control is never what a parent should be in the stands," according to Mark Wilson, sports event expert. "Unfortunately there are instances that has happened, more commonly than what we would want."

Mark Wilson has watched three sons play football. His son, Jack, reminds parents not to coach from the sidelines or criticize other kids. "They don't enjoy and they don't get better from their parents yelling at them from the stands."

Even though something might "flip your switch" as a parent, athletic directors say don't yell at your child or get negative. There are six words could have a better impact according to athletic director Richie Wildenhaus. "Whether they're second grade playing in youth leagues or they are at the highest level of sport is, 'I love to watch you play'".

Players tell us if you are in the stands, being a loud mouth is not insightful or entertaining. Especially if it's about the other team. "You can definitely hear taunts about our team and about our coaches. I just think it is unsportsmanlike."

As kids battle it out on the field, parents can face a fight of their own. Experts say a physical fight is never appropriate and watching your words is important. "What we always like to tell our parents is, let the coaches coach. Let the officials officiate and let the kids play."

Don't look too far down the field. Wilson says enjoy the game for today and don't be worried about a college or NFL career. "So let's try to keep it positive. That will carry them a lot farther than negative."

Wilson says don't play the "blame game" if something does not go your child's way.

And watch out, bad sports parents can sometimes influence others to come over to the "dark side".

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