How Adults Take The Joy Out Of Sports



We have all seen it.

I was recently watching a 12-year-old boys soccer game, and I saw it again. Like a deer in the headlights, the left defender on the blue team was seemingly stranded on the field and unsure where to go or what to do. He turned to one sideline, where his coach is urging him to “step up, get tight on your man, don’t let him get the ball and turn.”

He turned to the other sideline, and there is his dad, telling him to “drop off, that player is faster than you, don’t let them play it in behind you!” So what does he do?

While he should be focusing on the game, instead he has to make a choice. Do I ignore my dad, whom I have to live with, listen to on the car ride home, and spend an entire week with before my next game? Or do I listen to my coach, who is my teacher, whom I was told to listen to and respect by my dad, who has the power to give me playing time, or sit me on the bench when I don’t listen?

Parents yelling and coaching from the sidelines is one of six ways adults, though well-intentioned, take the joy out of playing sports for athletes of all ages. Want to know the other five ways, and how to stop it?

Then click here to read our blog “How Adults Take the Joy Out of Sports (and how we can fix it!)”