Arrogance and Youth sports do not mix

My oldest son is a great athlete. He often gets first place in his events. He has competed for his school, for his town and now for a big local team. He is a good kid with a good coach and no attitude. He has had good days and he has had bad. He has won and he has lost. we have always supported him, never pressured him. When it is no longer fun, he will stop. It is pretty awesome watching him compete, not only because he is good. But because he truly loves it. He does not like me “bragging” or talking about it so I do not post much. Hard to be a proud mamma sometimes. 

He has always been into sports. We have seen how competitive some parents can be. We have seen how hardcore some coaches can be. I never ever saw a kid be a poor sport. 

Until today. 

Today we attended a meet in a small town. The meet was a qualifying meet. Kids who got first place were going on to represent their area for the province. It was a bit of a big deal. There were many kids I had not seen before there. This meet was not through school. Most kids there belonged to a team and were there with their coaches. Some just their parents. All were welcome and all had a chance to advance. 

This one kid was there with who I assume was his dad. He was going on and on about how high he could jump. How great he was and was more less Peacocking. You know , walking around showing off his head to toe brand name clothes, fabulous hair and acting some what cocky. I thought to myself “boy this kid must be good. I guess my son better bring his A game” and left it a that. I watched him as I watched all the kids. 

Every time someone went he had a comment. If he missed he was show his temper or make an excuse. The person I assume was his dad was on the phone and not really paying attention. Every once in a while he would ask him about his “best” and then walk off. After everyone had their turns and everyone kept advancing, this kid was the first to get out. He lost. What I saw next both disgusted me and upset me. 

When he was finally out after missing over and over, he threw a tantrum. This teenage boy threw a tantrum. He was not a good sport. He punched the mat, he ripped off his number and kicked the wall. He then yelled at his dad and left. If he was with a team, his team would look bad. I did not see a coach or anyone that really noticed. 

The remainder of the kids kept carrying on. They each congratulated each other win or lose. They were all happy to be there and very pleasant. 

If my son was anything but a good sport we would not be attending these competitions. I would not spend my days watching him and supporting him. These kids need to learn now while they are young what is acceptable behavior. I would have been embarrassed if I was that kids parent. 

I hope this kid grows and matures and changes his attitude. If not I hope we do not cross paths again. 

Have you seen a bad sport in person before? Tell me about it.


  1. sylvia mollison says

    It sounds like you have taught your son well, and he has had other role models to help him get through losses as well as wins. What was the father's reaction to his son's temper tantrum? Perhaps if he genuineIly supported his son, instead of being on the phone and showing disinterest, said boy would not react with such attention seeking behaviour. I completely agree with you that arrogance has no place in youth sports….but it could also be said that arrogance doesn't belong in any social or work situation either!

  2. CanadianMomEh says

    That sounds terrible. I agree with you that it is important to support our children if they are good sports and not if they are not. Friendly banter is acceptable, arrogance in team sports however, is not.
    My recent post #MtlBliss recap @BlissdomCanada #BlissdomCA

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