Are you a parent who yells at children’s sporting events?

My parents are the kind of parents who yell at mine and my siblings sporting events. They aren’t abusive yellers though, which is a good thing obviously, but they do have a tendency to go overboard (mum especially). I don’t have an issue with it, I’ve managed to tune out majority of it when I’m playing so I don’t actually hear much. However I know that there are people out there who absolutely hate it when their parents yell at their sports.

Whether it is because of embarrassment or because some parents aren’t quite so supportive in their yelling, some people just shouldn’t yell out at sporting games. I know that when I play my sports, there are times when there are parents (not mine) who verbally abuse players from the opposition or even their own kid. I think that parents, or anyone for that matter, who shouts out abusive comments to any child playing any sport should be immediately banned.

It can get quite distracting when someone from the sideline is constantly yelling out mean comments to anyone on the court. Some kids don’t like it when their parents call out anything at all, even comments like ‘good job’ or ‘keep going!’ It doesn’t bother me when I play but for some reason, I am more affected by it when I am watching one of my siblings play.

I find it frustrating as a spectator when all I can here is someone (usually my mum) yelling louder than the coach. It isn’t really an issue when it’s constructive calls. However when I have to play while listening to someone shout out things that shouldn’t be said to teenagers let alone little kid, it quite literally drives me insane.


So I am a yeller! Thanks Ash for putting me out there. I must admit that when it comes to watching my children play basketball (all four play), I can’t seem to stay quiet. Basketball is a sport I grew up playing and I love watching it. I know this sport very well and feel confident with advising my kids to help them improve their game. Due to my vocal voice, I have put my hand up to coach both my girls next season. Maybe I need to use my voice in a constructive way.

When I yell, it is never negative comments, only positive instructions, and more often than not just to my child. We were recently at a netball game watching Ashlea play when a mother from the opposition team was being very inappropriate in her comments. She was shouting out to her daughter that she was doing nothing wrong and that our girl was just unfit and sloppy in her approach. The umpire had pulled the opposition girl up for unruly play ( which doesn’t happen often in our level), yet the mother couldn’t control herself. I was embarrassed for the girl and also the coach as he had to warn a parent on his own team to calm down.

On the weekend, my eldest son played basketball, a sport he is so passionate about that he knows the stats of every player in the NBA league. I hate seeing him upset with himself when he is not playing the quality of game he aspires to. This week was one of those games. His coach was screaming at him and this only made him play worse. After the game I spoke with my son and we discussed how he felt with the shouting from the sidelines. He knew he wasn’t playing well but made it worse when all he could hear was negative screaming from the sideline.

The next sporting game I watch with my children, I am going to sit there, quiet as a mouse, and watch only. I will see if this makes a difference with the way they play as I never want to be the one who makes them question their game. Sometimes when you think you are helping as a parent, you are actually making it worse.

Do you shout at your kids sports?

Cheers Natalie xxx




  1. Believe I am!!! 😯

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a vocal supporter, as long as it’s positive support when it comes to children. Sports are meant to be fun, yes competitive, but overall it is meant to be enjoyed.

  2. Gabrielle PECK says:

    Very interesting reading Ash. Thanks for the input from someone on the other end. I try not to yell out much but I do get excited sometimes. It would only ever be something positive but there is 1 dad in the team who yells at his son all the time (and sometimes other kids) and it is so very annoying as a parent. I actually feel sorry for his son as he is a good kid but all you can hear is his dads voice. I spoke to Mitchell about whether he hears this dad and he said only when he is on the bench. So, when he is playing he must be able to tune out. I actually wish he would shut up and let his son just PLAY basketball.
    I guess there is not much I can do about it but it is very annoying as a parent.
    Thanks girls.

    • Thanks Gabe. I have heard many stories similar to yours. There is often one parent on a team who is very vocal with their child. So long as the comments are positive and encouraging, cheering on your team is OK. When is becomes personal, especially with the opposition, it is time that parent leaves the sporting venue and takes time out to have a coffee and reflect.

  3. Pete With Feet says:

    Let’s get things realistic. All respondents are parents. Nothing has changed over time in memorial.
    Don’t change folks, is there anything better than seeing your kids excel, or their team???
    Your kids will remember forever, believe me, your being their as a supporter and saying well done (even though their game was not so good? )
    Yell by all means; don’t be biased, bigoted, or racist.
    Guess what: you are currently acting normal: don’t stop, it’s so healthy.
    Being a Mother happens once in a fantastic lifetime: times the number of kids you have.

    • Thanks Pete, I have always struggled staying quiet while watching my children play sport. It is not the cheering that is an issue at many sporting event which involve children, it’s the comments that are directed towards other players. Yes yell by all means and make sure what you are yelling is constructive to the child and their game, not a cheap shot.

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