Overbearing Sports Parents

In my few weeks off this summer, I have a lot of things on my to do list ranging from “get organized for Step 1” “run 80 mile weeks” and “recover from MS1.” Also on that list is to work through the Mind of the Athlete materials in an attempt to improve my coaching for the coming season. When our new AD started at MMU, he was huge on Mind of the Athlete and purchased a license for all interested coaches. I’ve generally liked what has come through on email thus far and am really looking forward to having time in the next two weeks to work through more of the materials. I expect it will benefit me as both a coach and athlete.

In a recent email, the following graphic came through and stuck with me. I’ve been very lucky to have limited experience with this as a coach and suspect that overbearing parents are less common in cross country in some part because so much of the competition goes on away from spectator eyes. That being said, our team is not not immune and at our parent meeting later in the summer, I will be bringing up some of these issues so that all of our athletes have a calm, supportive racing and training environment.

Overbearing Sports Parents

From a Mind of the Athlete e-newsletter; all credit due to them!

What experiences do you have with overbearing sports parents? Were your own parents overbearing? Do you see this when your kids play sports?

Edited to Add Link to the Mind of the Athlete Blog where this came from:


3 thoughts on “Overbearing Sports Parents

  1. Ryan

    My daughter is 5 and just getting into organized sports- soccer and gymnastics. I haven’t had a lot of chances to run into overbearing parents, but I see it during soccer. This is 4 on 4 no goalies soccer for 4-5 year olds and some parents are way to into the technical aspects of the game instead of just letting their kids enjoy playing. Although I can see how easy it is to get into the parent/coach mode. My daughter was complaining that one of her friends can lift her up but she can’t lift her friend. I almost started to give her advice about exercising before realizing advising a 5 year old about weight training is beyond absurd. I just told her to keep working hard at gymnastics and she will get stronger.
    Completely unrelated but something I experienced this weekend, preface would you rather have portapotties or flush toilets with no doors on the stall? My wife and I decided we are solidly in the portapotties camp now.

    1. runnerunderpressure

      It’s so hard not to over coach as a parent or as a coach! One of my big reflections from last year is that sometimes I just needed to shut up and let them run!

      As for the porto potties OMG Porto potties. I see some very um interesting moments in human life as a baby doc but I do not need to witness anyone’s pre-race “ritual.”

  2. Laurel

    Great post! I’ve seen plenty of overbearing sports parents, which makes me even more grateful to have the parents that I do. They want to see reach my goals and be happy, but could kind of care less about how fast I run. They are always there to provide me with the resources I want, but never forced anything on me.


Join the Conversation!