TAMPA, Fla. - Videos of parents behaving badly at youth sporting events are almost as plentiful as video of the events themselves, and it's no wonder.
Surveys have shown parents cause more problems on the field than the players, but some of those actions are usually hurting, rather than helping, their children.
Michael Wardlow has been both a coach and a parent, sitting in the stands. He said he tries to reinforce good sportsmanship for parents, coaches, and players through workshops with the Positive Coaching Alliance.
"We want your child giving the best effort possible out here and also having fun. When those outbursts happen, it takes away from him or her. It takes the attention that needs to be on them and brings it on the parent," Wardlow says.
Negative behavior from parents directly affects children.
"That child basically wants to come out here and build relationships with kids and play the game that they love. If you're taking that away from them, then they're going to stop playing altogether, and we don't want that. You definitely don't want that as a parent," he added.
West Tampa Little League softball coach Melissa Myers has seen her share of parents behaving badly.
"We had a couple parents come onto the field and want to fistfight with the coach, so that got a little out of hand," she recalled.
Myers said kicking a parent out because of their behavior isn't fair to the child.
West Tampa Little League parents sign a form at the beginning of the season to prevent bad behavior.
"It tells them, this is the responsibilities of a coach because we're volunteers, this is the responsibility of players, and this is the responsibility of parents," said Myers.
Both Wardlow and Myers agree that, in the end, the biggest winner in youth sports should be the child's wellbeing.