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UPDATE: The Role of Parents in Sports

By: Mollie Lair, Danielle Staub Email
By: Mollie Lair, Danielle Staub Email
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UPDATE 10/2/2013 8:00 PM

Marietta's Youth Football and Basketball League Director, William Vandall has been dealing with the issue of playing time for years.

"When I get a complaint, I go to the coaches practice and we discuss this kid, and usually the coach gets him in," said Vandall.

Vandall says over the years, he's learned taking preventative measures to make sure it doesn't get that bad and to always communicate with the parents.

"When a parent becomes unruly at the field or something goes on at the field, I'm usually there, and I tell them, ya know you either have to behave or you, I'll have to call the police and have you escorted out," he said.

Local Author Bob Springer of the book, "Go Ahead and Break Your Child's Heart" says, parents sometimes think they know what is best on the field but they need to remember to leave that for the coaches.

"A coach cannot be put into a position where he or she has to constantly look over his shoulder to see which parent is coming on the hardest and the loudest, that's gotta stop," said Springer.

On the game field, every parent wants whats best for their child. But where do you draw the line, between parenting at home and letting the coach, do the coaching on the field.

"There is a trend today, parents are much much too involved and what they need to be involved in is home related issues, home related disciplines, that whole arena," said Springer.

Springer says the parents might not realize the affect on the child when they negatively confront the coach.

"It just rips them apart. To the point that some of them artificially put up a fight in favor of the parent when they know dog gone good and well, that their mom or dad was wrong. It is so hard on them," he says.

Springer says, parents need to focus on parenting at home and when they are watching from the stands, leave it to the coaches.

"It's up to the community, to say, knock it off, we are not going to do that, we are not going to be hard on the coach, we are not going to step over bounds, it's up to the community, and it's up to a good principal and a good athletic director."
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UPDATE 10/2/2013 04:55 P.M.

Every parent wants what is best for their child.

But on the game field, how far is too far?

Playing time is a big deal for many parents.

Recently police arrested a parent at Hamilton Middle School, charging him with making threats against a coach.

Local Youth League Director for Marietta, William Vandall, says the issue of playing time is huge - it always has been.

Parents sometimes think they know what is best on the field, but they need to leave that for the coaches and stick to the parenting at home.

Over the years he learned taking preventative measures to make sure it doesn't get that bad is important and always communicate with the parents.

"When I get a complaint I go to the coaches practice and we discuss this kid, and usually the coach gets him in, now when a parent becomes unruly at the field or something goes on at the field, i'm usually there, and I tell them, ya know you either have to behave or you ...I'll have to call the police and have you escorted out," says Vandall.

Vandall says kick offs, punts and adding a fifth quarter this year gets more kids in the game.

Overall, he says parents need to remember they're doing more harm than good to their athlete by overreacting.

He adds talking to your child at home is very important.
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The father of a middle school football player is accused of assaulting his child's coach.

According to a criminal complaint, on Thursday Steven Britton confronted a coach at a Hamilton Middle School football practice.

Parkersburg Police say Britton was screaming at the victim and at one point talked about shooting the victim saying, "I put three bullets in the last man to cross me."

Police say Britton was angry at the lack of playing time his child is getting on the football team.

On Friday police arrested Britton and charged him with misdemeanor assault of a school employee.

He was arraigned and released on $2,500 bond under the condition he is not allowed on Hamilton school property.


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