How To Act Like An Adult At Kids’ Sporting Events

Keon Addai

Posted on September 03 2019

How To Act Like An Adult At Kids’ Sporting Events

As some of you already know, I had a bit of an incident last year at my oldest son’s basketball game. While I won’t go into what happened here because I’ve already written a post about it, it dawned on me that with school starting and recreational sports beginning again, it might be beneficial to give a refresher course on how to behave at a kid’s sporting event. 

Let me begin by saying that I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the moment. Competition can be fierce, and that only gets worse as the kids get older and begin to truly build their talents. I love cheering at a sporting event as much as the next person, but sometimes parents can become too involved in these events and end up acting horribly. This sets a bad example for our children and runs the risk of getting your team in trouble with the powers that be. We all need to take the time to remember that we are there in support of our kids, not to lose our minds over an eighth-grade basketball game.

Don’t Yell at Your Kids

One bad behavior that I see a lot of at sporting events, especially with older kids, is parents who will publicly yell at their children over their performance. I understand that you want to invest in your child and see them succeed. I understand that sports cost a lot of money, so you want to make sure your child is giving it their all. However, this bad habit absolutely kills me to watch. Your children need your support, not your ridicule when they mess up. Yelling at them at all, much less in front of friends, family, and strangers, is simply unacceptable. 

Don’t Yell at The Coach

If there is anything that regularly happens at games but never fails to surprise me, is people who yell at the coach for their decisions in the game. While we are all certainly entitled to our opinions, the coach is there because they were either selected or decided to help the kids as they pursue their athletic endeavors.  This does not mean that the decisions they are making are the best at all times,  but shouting your opinion during an event will not change the coach’s mind. Doing this just taints your reputation while also embarrassing your kid. Address issues with a coach in the right setting. 

Don’t Fight with Other Parents

Though I do believe in healthy competition, that does not mean that we need to take the competition into the stands. There is nothing worse than the parent who actively fights with other parents. It can be intimidating at worst and just plain annoying at best. When parents attend a game, it is to support their children and their team, not fight with other parents who are clearly taking the game to seriously! 

Don’t Make Rude Comments About Gameplay

As far as annoying habits at sporting events go, adults who blatantly make rude comments about gameplay are some of the worst individuals to be around. If a child on your kid’s team messes up, it is not your place to step up and vocalize how disappointed you are or how badly that one kid messed up. These are all children trying their hardest, and the last thing a young and insecure kid needs, is to hear some random person in the stands publicly stating how badly they messed up. You are there to show support, not to mention you don’t know how the family of that child will feel or respond! Act accordingly! 

Don’t Celebrate the Other Team Losing

Another major sportsmanship infraction that commonly happens at kid’s sporting events is people celebrating the misfortune of the other team. This is not only gross behavior for an adult to exhibit in the face of children, but it sets a poor example when it comes to being a good sport. I know that I personally want to raise athletes that want to win fair and square and will respect their opponents. I’m not interested in my kids seeing adults that think it is okay to make people feel bad for losing, as if it sweetens the victory. It’s just not good behavior for an adult to exhibit. Act your age and think about how sad your kid gets when they lose. A little empathy goes a long way here.

Don’t Argue with The Referees

If there is one huge issue at kid’s sporting events that gets a lot of attention, it is parents who choose to actively go after the referees because they don’t agree with the calls. It is the job of the referees to make the calls they see fit. While they might not always get it right, as long as they are attempting to do their best and not putting your child in harms way, don’t raise hell!  If you notice a ref that is always a problem, you can most definitely take the time to report them and address it in the proper manner. Do not be the parent in the stands who gets your team penalized, embarrasses your kid, and gets thrown out because you keep interfering with the game and calls you felt weren’t in your teams favor. 

Leave If You Are Upset

If there is any advice that I have for parents when it comes to attending these events, it is undoubtedly to just leave the room for a while if you feel yourself getting too upset. When you get riled up, you’re not going to think clearly, and you might just do something that you feel pretty bad about later. Sports can bring out a lot in people because of the excitement, adrenaline, and competition that come with them. It is your job to recognize when you need to take a breather and do exactly that. Your kid, the coach, and other spectators will thank you for it! 


For parents who have kids involved in sports, there is a huge amount of dedication and pride that comes with raising them as they pursue these passions. It is so easy to get invested and to want everything to go a certain way for your children, but there are other factors involved. When you raise an athlete, remember that you want to raise a good sport and act accordingly. There is absolutely no pride in being a sore loser or a sore winner, so don’t be that person. Don’t attempt to live the life you felt you should have had as an athlete through your children. Instead, just be the supportive parent, ready to cheer on your kids. At the end of the day, that’s all they want from us anyway!

Until next time Kuties! 


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