Today’s Sports Parents…are awful. And you are the reason why there are participation trophies. 

I recently enjoyed a biddy wrestling tournament on my day off and I was appalled by what I witnessed. If there are any kind of stereotypes about parents in sports, I definitely saw all of them at this tournament. There was the parent who was living his dream through his kid’s shadow, and the parent who wants to yell and scream at their kid through every loss. It was humiliating as an ex-athlete in this sport and what I’ll have to encounter as a parent as soon as I have a little Blaine running around. Parents… you complain because your kid comes home after every sport season with a medal or trophy. Throwing away their participation trophy because you don’t think they work hard enough, or don’t deserve it. I get it…you want their hard work to show through their playing time and individual accolades.

However, lets turn the page for one second. Do you ever think that those participation ribbons, trophies, or medals are because you’re a horrible parent and have ruined every chance for your kid to exceed in the sports that they love to participate in? Think about what I just said for just one second and imagine these situations in the form of questions. Have you been that parent that argues with every call at a match just so your kid’s team or your kid can keep it close? Have you ever screamed at your kid about his/her actions on the field or on the mat? Do losses aggravate you because that’s not how you performed in high school and college? If you answered yes or feel triggered, you are part of the problem.

You Are The Problem

You are part of them problem hands down and not part of your child’s development or solution. Your child is the reason why you’re still involved in sports. You played your last down, your last out, and your last take down when you graduated high school or college. You should be letting the sport teach your kid about winning, about losing, and about what hard work and practice can accomplish. You need to let them make mistakes and be there when they fail. You can’t win unless there has been a failure. Failure is the reason why the best athletes in the world break records. If Kobe Bryant missed a shot, you bet your sweet ass he was in the gym shooting that same shot 100 times so that wouldn’t happen again. The same goes to the sport of wrestling.

If your child loses, your job is to guide them to why it happened and to let them intrinsically think of what they can do to motivate themselves to be better in the next match they have in the tournament or duel meet. Instead I see parents screaming at their kids for “sucking it up” per say. If I could, I would smack every single one of you into next week. I am a firm believer that participation trophies are to make every kid feel good. But now I know why. It’s because of the “I never hit leg day dad”, or let me scream “SQUEEZE” mom are the reason for those feel good trophies. It’s embarrassing to witness this. Do better, and be better sports parents. Not only for your kids sake, but for your sake, too.

About Author

Blaine Napier