Family 411: Don't be 'that' annoying sports parent

New Albany football team prepares for their game against Gahanna Lincoln. (WSYX/WTTE)

Moms and dads want to support their kids who play sports. But obnoxious sports parents ruin it for everyone. As athletes put in the work on the field, nobody wants to get a trophy for America's worst sports parent.

Mark Wilson is a sports event expert and has three sons who play sports. Wilson said parents can create a negative energy in the stands and that will impact their child who is playing and even the people around them.

"Being out of control is never what a parent should be in the stands. Unfortunately, there are instances that has happened," said Wilson.

New Albany Athletic Director Richie Wildenhaus said whether a child is in second grade playing in youth leagues or they are at the highest level of their sport, parents can use six simple words--I love to watch you play.

"Parents have a significant impact on their child on the car ride home and the dinner table each night. What student athletes need to hear are words from a coach, a parent, or from a community member that go beyond what they give to the scoreboard or to the record boards of the school," said Wildenhaus.

Junior Jack Wilson said it's best if parents do not coach from the sidelines or criticize other kids. "They don't enjoy it and they don't get better from their parents yelling at them from the stands."

"The lessons that coaches teach them are about perseverance and grit, resilience, and team work. Those aren't just hollow words. They really do constitute what is most important about participating in the sport," said Wilson.

Wildenhaus said parents should be careful not to post negative remarks or be critical about players or coaches on social media.

"What we always like to tell our parents is --let the coaches coach, the officials officiate and let the kids play."

Both the Wilsons said it's important to enjoy your sport for the experience now and not worry about future scholarships or professional sports careers.

"What is their experience today? How did they enjoy the game on Friday night? That should be the parent's first concern. So let's try to keep it positive. That will carry them a lot farther than negative."

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