“Come on, Ref, are you kidding me? That was a foul!” The latest in an ongoing barrage of insults by a parent in the stands had the coach looking furious on the sidelines. He knew that the impact of this dad’s rude behavior toward the referees went far beyond a few passionately expressed criticisms during intense moments of the game. The parent had modeled bad sportsmanship for all the players, had embarrassed his son, and had done nothing to improve their team’s performance or change the outcome of the game.
I decided to interview coaches, and in those discussions I consistently heard the following things that drive them nuts . . . and these 6 tips on what parents should do instead: