Hey parents with children in sports, let the coaches coach, referees officiate, and most of all, let the kids play the game. In other words, unless you have a positive cheer, zip it shut in the stands.

Personally, I am a youth baseball coach of many years. More than once, i have told an unruly fan, if you want to do something with your mouth, suck on some sunflower seeds.

Yelling, screaming and berating the players or officials humiliates your child, annoys those sitting around you, embarrasses your child's team, and simply ruins the event for everyone.

The number one reason many kids quit sports, is because of pressure from their parents. It's also the reason many officials are leaving the job.

Kids don't want to be coached by parents. They want to be instructed by their coach, it's part of the experience of being in the sport.

When I played, one of the main reasons I was enjoying it was having a coach. The relationship between a coach and a player is meant to be a special thing. It's exciting to have a coach riding your butt and chewing on you, and celebrating with you when you make a good play.

A player doesn't want that from you as a parent. They want you to be mom and dad. They want to hear that you enjoyed watching them play, win or lose.

Kids are under enough pressure as it is in the game, without more coming from the stands. If parents try to coach from the stands, I guarantee you that all you will do is confuse all the players.

A friend of mine, who coached basketball, proved this to all the parents of a team one time. He blindfolded a player and sent him down the court from one end to the other having the parents shout out directions. Some parents were hollering to go left, while others were shouting to go right and others were directing to go straight.

It ended with the player, taking confusing directions from the stands, actually running into soda machine clear off the court way over on the sidelines almost in another room of the auditorium.

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