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How Coaches Can Stop Bullying By Youth Sports Parents

Happy school boy soccer player celebrates victory, shaking hand with his father


When we hear about bullying in sports, we tend to think about behavior from athletes. But what about parents who cross the line? This happens too frequently and can put the coach in a tough position.

Parents often yell at referees, challenge coaching decisions and sometimes even berate players. This is wholly inappropriate. The role of parents is to support their children and help reinforce life lessons through sports. Certainly, it’s normal for parents to want their child to perform well and win, but parents must not bully when things don’t go their way.

Coaches of any level may have a hard time confronting these parents, but here a few strategies to consider:

  • Have all the parents sign the Parents Pledge. This agreement will get you and the parents onto the same page. If parents step out of line, remind them what they agreed to.

  • If this behavior occurs during a game, don’t ignore it! Set a good example for the kids, because their parents aren’t.

PCA is accepting applications for the 2021 Triple-Impact Competitor® Scholarship Program! Any high school JUNIOR(class of 2022) playing a school or club sport is eligible. Deadline is May 31st, 2021. For full rules and to apply click here.