A crowd at the MAC at Monmouth University (Bud McCormick)

It seems like at least once a year I address the issue of how parents’ involvement in high school and youth sports has crossed the line and often provides a sad commentary on the times we live in. I did not plan on bringing that up today until a co-worker sent me an article which detailed how some of the most successful coaches in central New York have resigned or been forced out by over-the-top parents.

A survey by Syracuse.com of over 200 coaches found 82% said dealing with parents has gotten worse and 60% of them said they have had to speak with parents about their behavior. Also revealing was that 58% said they have considered quitting because of parents who had made coaching high school sports more stressful than ever.

I’m old enough to remember when complaining about a coach to your parents usually resulted in a stern lecture and defense of the coach, not your gripe. That has all changed as parents are more likely to seek a meeting with the coach and often will take their complaints to school administrators. While clearly there are cases where the actions of coaches are not acceptable it’s more likely that the parent is only concerned with the playing time of their son or daughter.

In what is a major indicator of what’s happening today 76% of coaches in the New York survey said AAU and summer travel teams have made their relationships with their high school parents worse. I could add a lot to that but time does not allow but I will say a large part of that is parents shelling out big dollars to paid coaches who give inflated opinions of athletic ability which can cross over to the high school season.

The stress of getting college scholarships, social media, transferring from one school to another for athletic reasonsist’s all added to what is a growing problem.

Here’s another one. A lack of coaches as filling spots even in marquee sports is become more and more challenging because less want to deal with the headaches for what turns out to be a few bucks an hour. Do you blame them?