Sports Rage

By Caroline Agbayani

Its Not About Winning or Losing,

Its How You Play The Game

All across America, millions of youth are actively involved in youth sporting events.  Friendly competition has taken on a different meaning as more and more people are aware of the rising incidents of sports rage.  Youth are at risk of perpetuating rage on and off the field because of their parental involvement in their sports life.  This is an epidemic that is spreading because there have been increased reports of parents attacking parents and children attacking each other at sporting events.  Parents, children, and youth sport organizations need to address this problem of sports rage and create a code of conduct for the field and in the stands to ensure that people are not getting hurt for outrageous behavior.


So How Do Parents Learn To Control Rage?

The following is an excerpt from the article which exemplifies one of the most extreme acts of sports rage reported. 

"The news shocked the nation: an irate father beat another father to death in front of the man's children during an argument at a youth hockey game near Boston."

Parental rage in sports is not new.  It has been around just as long as sports have.  However, the death of the father at a youth hockey game gave Americans a wake-up call to the violence that is not only found on the field between competitors but also off the field, between parents.  Parents make rude, negative remarks and yell at their kids or other kids, parents and officials.  Psychologist Janet Sundberg and her husband, a coach and former professional athlete, wrote a book entitled "How to Win at Sports Parenting" to teach parents effective parenting skills for youth sports. 

Parents make the mistake of preaching to their children that winning is everything and some live vicariously through their children's athletic achievements.  However, the repercussion of over-involvement is that fun is taken out of games and good sportsmanship is thrown out the window.  By keeping sports in perspective and not over-involving themselves in their children's sports, parents will control their internal rage.    


Latest Trend in Public Rage Affecting School Sports

Now that parents are learning to control their own rage and teaching good sportsmanship on and off the field to their children, what kinds of standards are being created by youth sports leagues to combat the violent and negative behavior?

According to Fred Engh, president of the national Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) and author of Why Johnny Hates Sports, parents behave inappropriately and violently at their children's sporting events because "no one ever told them they couldn't."

Click on this banner to find out how Marion Jones, the fastest woman on the planet, heads Time Out! For Better Sports For Kids public service campaign!

Youth sports leagues are coming up with training programs for administrators on how to manage youth sports programs.  Youth sports supervisors are needed to train volunteer coaches, sports administrators and parents.  The NAYS campaign "Time Out" addresses the aforementioned issues dealing with sports rage and raising of standards in youth sports.  It is being successfully utilized in more than 2,500 cities across the nation.  It is of utmost importance that parents and children involved in youth sports control their own outrageous behavior because rage is something that can be perpetuated throughout people's lives and they may not even know it.  Ignorance is bliss and some parents senselessly justify their violent behavior and continue to act on it.  Parents inadvertently pass on their aggressive tendencies to their children and create a cycle that leads to uncontrollable behavior, both on and off the field.  Youth sports leagues, coaches, parents and children nationwide need to collectively find leveled ground to prevent sports rage and put fun back into sports.

 

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