Take the Quiz: Are You Taking Your Child’s Sports Too Seriously?

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck

There are many reasons we might get a little nutty when it comes to our children’s sports. We may be so concerned about their happiness that we believe failure in sports will be devastating to them. There could be some competitive feelings with parents of other children. And we may be hoping for them to live dreams we had in our youth. And yet, consciously, we might not realize any of these apply to us. Take this quiz and see if you could be in a little “too deep” when it comes to your kids’ sports.

You have emailed one of your children’s coaches and expressed displeasure with strategy/playing time/treatment of your child:

  • Never: 0 points
  • 1-4 times: 5 points
  • 5 or more times: 10 points
  • The coach has changed his email address because of me: 15 points

You lose sleep and stay awake at night thinking about/worrying about your child’s sports.

  • Never: 0 points
  • 1-2 nights/week: 5 points
  • 3 or more nights/week: 10 points
  • I will sleep in the off-season: 15 points

Your child rarely seems to get a fair shake compared to other children the same age.

  • True: 10 points
  • False: 0 points

When watching your child play, you are compelled to complain to the official about bad calls.

  • I never say anything under any circumstances: 0 points
  • I did once and was embarrassed: 3 points
  • Only when the opposing team’s fans are doing it: 10 points
  • I feel it is part of the game for fans to try to gain an edge for their team: 13 points
  • I’ve been ejected from my child’s game: 20 points

You would like to see your child’s coach be replaced by someone else:

  • But I would never do anything about it. It is not my decision to make: 0 points
  • I have spoken to other parents about it and they agree: 5 points
  • I have gone to the league/athletic director and made my case: 10 points
  • I’ve put an ad for a new coach on Craigslist: 20 points

You have expressed strong displeasure with your child on the ride home from a game after a poor performance:

  • I never have and never would. He/she already feels bad enough: 0 points
  • A few times when it seemed he/she didn’t give their best efforts, I pointed it out: 3 points
  • 25-50% of the time: 10 points
  • 50% of the time or more: 15 points
  • He didn’t deserve a ride home: 20 points

Your child has told you to stop yelling at him/her during games.

  • Never: 0 points
  • Once, then never again: 5 points
  • He needs my coaching because he’s not getting it from his “real” coach: 10 points
  • Even the coach has asked me to stop yelling at him: 15 points

You have pulled your child from one team and put him/her on another team due to anger about playing time/coaching.

  • Never: 0 points
  • Once: 5 points
  • Several times: 10 points
  • Not sure what team she’s on right now: 20 points


0-5 Points: You are a young athlete’s dream parent. Or you’re in denial

6-20 Points: For the most part, you mind your manners. Everyone slips up once in a while.

21-35 Points: Might be time for you to take a step back and try to remember that several years from now what happens this season, with this team and this coach, will not be nearly as important as you think.

36 + Points: If your children are still playing, it’s not too late to make amends. From now on, sit in the stands quietly – except when cheering enthusiastically for the team. Be supportive of your child and his/her coaches. If you continue with the same behavior you may very well end up ruining the one chance they have at enjoying sports. And years from now, you will regret that.

Brian Gotta is a former professional youth baseball coach and current volunteer Little League coach and board member. He is the President of CoachDeck and also author of four youth sports novels which can be found at www.sportsbooks4kids.com. He can be reached at brian@coachdeck.com.

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