If you haven't seen this video by The Holderness Family, take a quick watch. Pay close attention to the part where the mom is very narrowly having a nervous breakdown watching her child. Pacing, covering her eyes, gagging. (Me = rolling.)
If you're a sport parent you've seen these parents. Maybe you are these parents. I certainly was. I say was not because my kids are done playing sports but because somewhere in the time frame of your first baby playing sports and your youngest baby playing sports - you learn.
You learn so, so (SO) much.
You likely see other psychotic parents and start to wonder, do I look like that? Eeee, might be time to dial it down a bit - he looks like he's one missed basket away from an apoplexy.
You learn that maybe as awesomely fantastic as your kid might look playing in the yard with their siblings - when he/she is on a field or court with other kids their own age - they start to look a little, well, average.
You may start to figure out that watching games/meets/matches is much more enjoyable when you just ...watch. Talk to other parents. Clap a little. Cheer sometimes. Tone down the crazy a bit and being a sports parent is actually kind of... fun? (Who knew?)
And hopefully, (please people, find a way!) somewhere along the way from your first to your third or fourth or sixth or however many kids you have, you realize where you are. At a youth soccer game. A flag football game. A junior varsity volleyball match. A high school golf meet. ...Wherever it is, it most likely isn't the Olympic tryouts. It isn't their moment of having four college scouts watching them for that full-ride scholarship. Its just them, wanting to play in an extra-curricular sport because - their buddies do it or because they're moderately good at it or the just wanted to try it for the first time.
And I promise you, Sideline Sporticus, no amount of your screaming or "coaching" from the bleachers - will change the outcome or the fact that its just a game.
It is. Its a game. Its 29 or 44 or 60 minutes of their life. And yours.
And if that doesn't inspire you to "tone it down, Tracy,"
then remember at every sporting event there are ALWAYS parents taking photos. Do you really want to chance getting captured in the background of someone's picture (that will be around F-O-R-E-V-E-R) with that mid-yell, crazed look on your face?
Save those moments for when you lose your mind at home. Those faces are for you and your children to enjoy (be scared of.)
Unless of course your child has a turd-head moment and sasses off to a coach or does something you're incredibly embarrassed of. Then go ahead, bring out Terrible Tracy. March over there and make that tiny turd apologize. Likely, if you do you'll get parents to clap - for you.