spectators visit youth sporting events and see parents pushing their child
athletes towards extreme performance and displaying aggressive and rude
behavior towards the child, the audience, coaches, and children begin to
develop negative thoughts
positive and negative behaviors have short- and long-term effects on child
athletes. As such, parents’ actions and behaviors positively or negatively
motivate child athletes
parents have several opportunities, positive and negative, that influence their
children’s sporting experiences. Often, parents try to live out their athletic
dreams through the current abilities of their child athletes. Anderson et al.
(2003) pointed out that as parental pressure increases, children’s enjoyment
and satisfaction decrease
Also, some African American parents perceive sports as upward mobility towards success and the only way to attain happiness and prosperity in their lives. The American dream is the belief that anyone, regardless of where or what class they were born into, can attain their version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. Moreover, research on the attitudes to gaining wealth and getting ahead in the United States and elsewhere shows that Americans tend to see individual hard work and effort as the key to getting ahead. This belief continues to grow because of the myths and stereotypes involving the notion that African Americans and sports are a part of the former’s biological history and cultural destiny, especially in certain categories of sports.
Parents demonstrating poor behavior at youth sporting events create a negative impact on the youth and the sports environment. Therefore, the actions of some parents affect children’s participation in sports, apart from reducing the number of referees and league offices. According to Bach (2006), 74% percent said they had witnessed out- of- control adults at their games, and the two most common types of bad behavior involved parents yelling at children and officials or coaches. Further, parents are becoming involved in the lives of young athletes. Greater competition for athletic scholarships and the lure of professional sports has motivated many parents to commit their children to special training regimens at an early age.