Experts warn sports parents need to watch their behavior at youth events
Dr. Deirdre Adduci says poor sportsmanship at youth events can have long term adverse affects on kids.
Two incidents involving youth sports have a lot of people talking. One was at a Colorado little league baseball game and another was at a youth basketball game at Liberty High School.
"I felt really bad for those kids really, I mean they're out there to have fun, they're supposed to be having fun and the example they set for their children is just awful," said sports parent Nancy Pagano-Littler.
In Colorado, fists were flying as parents brawled in front of 7-year-olds. In the basketball game, a coach went after the referee with other parents and players watching. The teams were not affiliated with Liberty Schools.
Dr. Deirdre Adduci says parents exhibiting this kind of behavior at youth sporting events sends the wrong kind of message.
"They're going to see what we do and if we talk the talk but don't walk the walk then we're teaching our kids some rules apply and some don't and they apply to some people but not to others and that's generally not the message we want to get across to our children," said Dr. Adduci.
While youth sports are meant to teach sportsmanship, work ethic and teamwork, coaches say those aren't the lessons your kid will remember if parents behave badly.
"If the kids see enough of that they will eventually turn that into their actions because that's what they know and that's what they've learned," said youth coach Mark Swinning.
While sports can get emotional, one parent in Trumbull County says adults need to remember they are supposed to be the role models.
"If we're out there trying to set a good example and having our kids have fun I think that needs to be remembered," said Pagano-Littler.