Over the past few years, I’ve heard a number of college coaches talk about how the behavior of parents is now being evaluated as a staff is recruiting a student athlete.

“I just recently had an NCAA Division I coach drop one of the kids [a boys’ basketball player] from consideration because of the way the mom and dad acted at a game,” Thom Dartt, a varsity football and basketball official in northwest Ohio shared with WALB News.

“They were yelling at officials, other players and criticizing coaching strategy.  The college coach left the game in the 3rd quarter, called me and said, ‘We are pulling the scholarship offer.  We don’t want those parents around our program.  They would be cancerous.’”

The behavior of parents is also having more immediate effects. According to WALB News, a recent study from Youth Sports Statistics says that 37% of young athletes do not want their parents at their games.

I think we can all remember growing up and playing sports as kids and appreciating having our parents in the stands during the game, and seeing them after a win or loss. But research is showing that is being lost in today’s young athletes as some parents continue to push harder and harder in their quest to help land a scholarship for their child.

In the article, a number of officials weigh in on how things have changed over the years with parents in the stands, and one official specifically notes that the trend has become worse as parents have decided to have their kids specialize in one sport.

As coaches, it’s important to understand the dynamic and vital role that parents play in our program, and since many of us are also parents, it’s even more important, so head here to read the full piece.


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Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as assistant head coach / offensive coordinator at West Ottawa HS (MI).