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N.Y. prep coaches say parents becoming more problematic

September 15, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A survey of high school coaches in New York offered a glimpse into the relationships they have with parents of student-athletes.

A majority of New York coaches believe problems with parents are becoming more common. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman
A majority of New York coaches believe problems with parents are becoming more common. | Photo: Kevin Hoffman

Not surprisingly, it revealed many problems.

The survey, conducted by Syracuse.com, found that 82% of coaches believe sports parents have become more abusive during their careers. A similar survey was conducted in Alabama over the summer, where 60% of coaches gave the same response.

“During a postgame meeting with my team after a big win, a parent came onto the field and threw her daughter’s lacrosse equipment at me and called me every curse word she could think of in a 60-second tirade,” one coach said in the survey, as reported by Syracuse.com. “The outburst was caused by her belief that her daughter should play more.”

Here are some other findings in the survey:

  • 58% of coaches said they’ve quit or considered quitting because of parents.
  • 60% of coaches said they’ve had to talk to a parent about his or her conduct during the most recent season.
  • 23% of coaches said administrators did not offer their support during these conflicts.

Playing time is oftentimes the catalyst in these confrontations, and almost every coach has dealt with it at one time or another. What’s concerning is that the abuse is becoming so common and crude that it’s making coaches question their career choices.

In our annual survey, high school athletic directors consistently rank problematic parents as a top-10 concern in their programs. In our 2015-16 survey, it ranked sixth.

Click here to read more about the survey conducted in New York.


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