After Roseville Coaching Turbulence, A Look at Parents' Role in School Sports

The Star Tribune wrote about the "growing conflict in youth sports between athletic officials and parents."

The Star Tribune published a story this week looking at the role of parents' complaints in the resignation of Roseville Area High School boys' hockey coach Jeff Pauletti and the leave of absense of activities director Scott Allen.

The newspaper examined the larger role of parents in school sports:

Steve Perdue, author of the book "Parental Ego and the High School and Youth Athlete," worries that intrusion by parents is an epidemic that is ruining the experience for kids.

"My fear is that this will run some kids off," said Perdue, a parent of two athletes and former coach of 30 years who is pursuing a master's in sports psychology. "Not because of their own personal experience, but because their parents' behavior is out of control.

"Parents need ... to really look at what is best for the kids. Some actions are not helping kids, it's quite the opposite."

The story also discussed the conflict between fairness and excellence:

In Roseville, five of Pauletti's former hockey players agreed that talent expectations for varsity sports sometimes precludes complete fairness. Many student-athletes say it's difficult for parents to understand the inner workings of a team.

"All of us here did play at the A-level. ... We played at the varsity level," said Jim Betz a 2009 Roseville graduate. "And if we weren't looking to get pushed and have that competitiveness, we would have played somewhere else where we could have fair play and joke around on the ice."

Read the whole story at the Star Tribune's website.


MARY JOAN ROURKE July 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
this seems to an ongoing problem and has been a problem since the 60's.
Tony Nickelsen July 11, 2012 at 09:57 PM
The parents for the most part are the problem, but they can also be the solution. I see too much interference by certain parents on who should be playing on varsity, how they are coached and wining if they don't see the desired results. Then, complaining to the athletic director that the coach is incompetent and should be fired. On, the other hand, we have also seen rogue coaches who favor certain players over others and the ones who don't meet the coaches grade catch their wrath and reduce their playing time. This is big-time HS athletics in the 21st century. We folks have created this monster of win at all costs which has completely taken the fun out of competition, teamwork and sportsmanship from our kids. Parents and coaches, give the game back to the kids again so that they'll have lasting memories of playing together with their friends regardless of the final score!!!
CONCERNED PARENT October 14, 2012 at 04:45 AM
IT'S NOT THE PARENTS! http://www.lebanonschoolfacts.com/mersch-complaints.html
Scott Carlson October 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Tony, I would agree that there is way too much emphasis on winning. And, in general, that has taken out the fun of sports for many kids.
Tony Nickelsen October 16, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Concerned Parent, I'm not saying it's "just" the parents problem, it's a combined situation with certain parents, not all parents who feel their kids should be on the varsity team because they went to hockey camps for many years, their brother was on the varsity so they should be too. Or, that their parent was one of the lead booster club members for their respective sport and that should automatically qualify them for the varsity. On the flip side, coaches who favor certain kids over others, all for the sake of winning. What if that kid was a good player, but had a bad attitude and was a distraction for the rest of the team. Should they continue to be in the starting lineup, or yet even be on the team. Wake up parents who have their kids in HS sports, it's a game! In the final scheme of things in life, will anyone really care who won or loss as long as the kids had a good time playing together. Lets make it fun again, please!


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