All my kids play sport and so I find myself exposed to the full gamut of ‘sporting parents’. There seem to be three kinds of parents: the supportive ones, the absent ones and the over the top ones.

The majority of the parents are supportive, but I must admit, I find the over the top parents worse than the absent ones!

Most kids play sport just to have fun, unfortunately the same can’t be said for all of the parents.

In the last few weeks I have witnessed parents yelling at their kids, at the refs, the team officials and the opposition. These parents seem hell bent on their kids winning at all costs, which leaves me wondering what message they want to send to their kids.

The parents become so competitive that they lose sight of the fact that their kids are there for exercise, friendship, teamwork and above all fun. It seems these parents project their expectations on their kids, living vicariously through them, rather than supporting them.

In my opinion, these parents would be better to take time to coach their children and give them skills, rather than turn up at games to yell at them. They could donate their time to ref games, rather than yell abuse at the umpires or they could work out a roster they think is fair for the playing time of each child, rather than harass the manager. 

Sport should provide a healthy, safe and happy environment for kids to play with their friends. There is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to win, but at the end of the day it is just a game! Being a good sport is better than being good at sport!



(Picture courtesy of topstep07,



As we are not far off the Winter Olympics, I’ve been thinking about all the hard work and effort that goes into qualifying at that elite level of sport. Of course the athlete competing has spent hours upon hours honing their skills and must have the aptitude and attitude to succeed, but it’s their parent’s selfless support that facilitates their child being able to follow their dreams. Without their parent’s encouragement when they were young, it would be near impossible to succeed at such a high level.


Think of all the training sessions these athletes had to be driven to and from, not to mention competitions locally, nationally and internationally! Add to this the money their parents have forked out to pay for training sessions, travel and equipment. These parents have forgone their own personal time to focus their energy (and money) on preparing their children to become the ultimate athletes they are.


I have multiple friends whose children are gifted athletes and playing in representative squads of their chosen sports. My friend’s social lives are nearly non-existent as they spend all their free time ferrying their kids to games and training. The higher level they compete in, the further it seems you have to travel!


So whilst it is an amazing achievement for these kids to reach these extraordinary levels, the unsung heroes are the parents who prepared them and supported them in their quest for greatness. They don’t receive medals and certificates in recognition for their sacrifices – instead, their reward is the pride they get from their children’s success!



(Photo courtesy of digitalart,