LOCAL NEWS

USU professor studying ways to limit bad parent behavior at youth games

Sep 26, 2022, 10:42 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Parents behaving badly at youth sporting events is growing more common across the nation and something we’ve seen play out here in Utah in recent weeks.

Dr. Travis Dorsch, associate professor at Utah State University and founder of the Families in Sport Lab, has been studying the ongoing problem and looked at the issue as a former athlete and now a parent of young athletes.

His studies show that when parents have their kids participate in a highly competitive culture and over involve themselves in their kids’ performance, they can often lose perspective and lash out.

Passion for the game can erupt onfield in a bad light.

Several parents, players and coaches were suspended after a brawl broke out at a youth football game in Herriman.

Ute Conference Football suspends coaches, parents, players after brawl on the field

Dorsch says this aggressive behavior is becoming all too common.

“We can’t divorce the parent experience from the emotions that go along with seeing with having a kid out there performing,” he said.

Dorsch is the founder of the Families in Sports lab. He’s interviewed dozens of parents, athletes and coaches and compiled strategies and tips to keep these behaviors in check.

“So, as not to embarrass themselves, embarrass their children and or kind of ruin the experience for everybody involved,” he said.

Dorsch said parents need to keep a balanced perspective and focus on the potential impact of their behavior on their children and manage their anger. Walk away or count to 10.

He also suggests sports programs communicate clear expectations with parents up front.

“The kids feel better about their parents’ involvement. They feel less pressure. They feel more motivated and more engaged in sports,” Dorsch said.

Dorsch says there’s no manual for parenting in sports, but it’s important that every league have an agreement with parents that spells out clear rules, appropriate behavior and penalties if they are not followed.

For a look at more studies on youth sports, click here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Lehi mom stranded in snowstorm grateful for help from unexpected stranger

Two Utah County women are sharing how a desperate situation during Monday's snowstorm turned into a heartwarming story they'll never forget.
16 hours ago
Some residents of an Orem student apartment complex ran for their lives after shots were fired on t...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Man accused of shooting at Orem apartment complex surrenders

A Utah man accused of shooting people at an Orem apartment complex in a confrontation caught on video has surrendered to police.
16 hours ago
(Karah Brackin/KSL TV)...
Karah Brackin

U of U working to get victims help after two cameras found in Student Life Center

The University of Utah and its department of public safety said Thursday they are focusing on victims and getting them the help they need to move forward after two cameras were found in the Student Life Center.
16 hours ago
Apartments and townhouses on Traverse Mountain Boulevard in Lehi are pictured on Wednesday, Aug. 11...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

Utah experiences largest population spike in 16 years. Here’s where people are moving

Utah's population skyrocketed by a little more than 61,000 people between July 2021 and July 2022, marking the state's largest spike in absolute growth in 16 years, according to a new population estimate report released Thursday.
16 hours ago
(FILE) Salt Lake City Police car responding to a scene....
Madison Swenson

Police: Man arrested for burglarizing two SLC businesses

A 44-year-old man has been arrested after police say he burglarized two businesses in downtown Salt Lake City, including an office space belonging to the Utah Attorney General's Office.
16 hours ago
FILE: A UTANG KC-135, modified with Real-Time Information in the Cockpit and gateway technologies, ...
Josh Ellis

Utah Air Nat’l Guard airman dies during routine deployment in Guam

A Utah airman assigned to the 151st Air Refueling Wing died Tuesday after suffering a medical emergency in Guam.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
USU professor studying ways to limit bad parent behavior at youth games