Why Do Parents Get Angry During Their Kids’ Sports Games?

The little players of a sports team are the biggest assets, but often coaches face hindrances on behalf of the kid’s families. This is because some children have angry parents and this leads to bad performance at sports events.

Sports are a fun way for children to socialize, enjoy themselves and learn how to accept wins and losses gracefully. Unfortunately, angry sports parents fail to understand this, and the child’s vision of sports is blurred.

Angry Sports Parents

Coaches from all over the world work very hard to train and prepare children for any sports game. They deal with all kinds of children but also have to deal with angry parents at sports games.

Parents want the best for their children, and there is no doubt about it, but sometimes parents fail to understand what is best for their children. Some children have a very high potential in sports. All they need is a little push. Coaches mostly have to be hard on them regarding their training so that they can become a tough competition for other players.

However, coaches are interrupted in doing so by angry parents at sporting events who do not support their children indulging in sports or either get angry when they do not win a sports game. This kind of aggressive behaviour is usually not good for the child as well as for their career in sports, which is why we have mentioned some easy tips to manage angry sports parents.

Ultimate Guide to Manage Angry Sports Parents:

Have you ever visited a sports game? If you have, you would be evident that there is always some sort of fight going on. It mostly occurs when someone utters something behind the back of the referee or coach, and there is a lot of screaming and yelling.

These fights happen because parents usually get angry. You may have seen angry parents at sports events but have you ever wondered why they get angry?

Here are some reasons why:

  • When referees make a bad call or are not considerate to make a fair call.
  • When the other team players are not respectful enough to their children’s team and do not show sportsmanship.
  • When they think the coach has made wrong decisions for their children’s team.
  • When they feel the other parents are disrespectful to their child’s team.

If a parent is unable to identify the cause of their anger, then they must seek professional help from someone who has experience. They can take some sort of anger management classes to calm their unnecessary anger.

Angry parents at sporting events create a very unhealthy atmosphere for kids, and other people present there who are watching the game. Many kids also learn to show aggression like their parents later on in life. That is why it is important that such parents’ behaviour at sporting events is managed effectively.

Here are the 8 Strategic Tips for Controlling Parents’ Anger over Sports:

In order to maintain a positive sporting event, here are 8 strategic tips that would help parents control their anger over sports:

1. Hold a family meeting for the start of the season

The first step towards managing angry parents is to hold a family meeting at the beginning of the season. This would help you discuss the important details and policies with the athlete’s parents and families. While discussing the policies, you can explain to the families how it is important to maintain a healthy atmosphere at the sporting event and how parents must maintain each other’s respect.

Moreover, coaches can know about each athlete’s family and each of their expectations. This would help coaches to understand how motivated the child is to play at an event and how eager he is to win the game.

2. Let them know that you are approachable anytime

Sometime’s parents get frustrated and angry because they feel that, as a coach, you are biased and not approachable to them or their kid. They might feel that you have given more attention and training to another child than theirs, which is a common reason most parents get angry at sports events when their child loses the game.

You must let both parents and the children know that you are approachable at any time, and they don’t have to be scared of you.

3- Discuss the distribution of playing time

Most fights occur when parents think the distribution of playing time wasn’t fair and their child did not get enough playing time. What coaches must do is that when they hold a meeting with parents, they should communicate to them effectively that the distribution of playing time is done based on talent and work ethic.

Explain to families and players that some of them may not get much playing time in crucial games, so they do not need to be angry.

4. Never talk to someone when they are yelling at you

In order to avoid encourage parents to get angrier or to avoid fights at sports events, you must never talk to a parent or someone who is yelling at you. This will make the situation worse because no matter how calm you are when they yell at you, you will also feel angry and then an ugly fight will start, which you do not want.

5- First, hear them out

You must hear them out and let them say what their concerns are. Sometimes parents feel that they are unheard of and their opinions are not respected, which leads to aggression and it comes out in sports events.

You must let them express their concerns and whatever they want to complain about. You can first let them speak, and then once they are done, you can explain the real scenario to them.

6- Keep yourself composed even if they do not.

The best way to avoid conflict and control anger in parents is to stay composed when they are showing anger. A common mistake most coaches make is that they also start screaming and yelling out of aggression with the angry parents which causes the situation to become worse.

You must control your anger when the parents do not behave properly. Keeping yourself composed would give a good impression on your players, who would learn to control their anger themselves.

7. Communicate clearly and regularly.

There might be a need to communicate the policies, work ethics and playing time again and again to the families to maintain controlled behaviour of families. You must hold meetings with parents regularly and clearly communicate every detail.

This would include what their child is capable of in sports, what can be expected of them and how they can become better athletes. Giving details about their child would let them know the capabilities of their children in sports and what they can expect out of them. In many cases, unrealistic expectations lead parents to become angry when their child loses a game.

8. Manage Parents’ Tensions with Care

Parents sometimes act out of love and may become aggressive during the game. You must manage your parents’ anger and their tensions with care. Sometimes parents become more furious when the coach is insensitive to their tensions.

If it is not the right time to talk then you can tell them politely that you will talk to them after the game and then deal with them with care and explain to them the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do parents get so angry at youth sports events?

Parents often get angry at youth sports events because of their unrealistic expectations of their child, a referee’s bad call, a wrong decision made, the opposite player’s rude behaviour against their kid or any other act they think is unjust for their child.

2. How do I deal with my angry sports parents?

You must deal with angry sports parents by holding a meeting before a season, telling them all the details of the policies and the games, showing care and telling them they can approach you anytime.

3. How can I tell if a parent is going to be difficult before the game event starts?

You can tell a parent is going to be difficult from their behaviour before the game. If they are too possessive of their child, have unrealistic expectations from their child or are pressurizing the coach on giving their child more playing time, then these are signs the parents are going to be difficult during the game as well.


Angry sports parents are difficult to deal with at sports events. Most coaches around the globe face this problem of dealing with such parents. They spoil the event and cause their child to deal with embarrassing situations.

In many cases, the child also becomes aggressive in later stages of life, which is not good. We have listed down 8 strategies to deal with angry parents during sports events. Follow them and manage a positive environment during a sporting event.

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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