Are parents turning children off sports with their behaviour on the sidelines?

An Oireachtas committee heard the problems they are creating off-field around the country

BY Simon Maguire 11:11 Thursday 14 June 2018, 11:11 14 Jun 2018

A story on the front page of the Irish Examiner by Evelyn Ring highlighted how an Oireachtas committee heard where sports clubs are losing underage players due the "win-only" ethos which has become prevalent across the country. 

The topic surfaced on Thursday's OTB AM with Ger highlighting the need for proper discussion around the issue before we do irreparable damage to participation numbers in this country. 

"Colin Regan, the GAA's Community and Health manager was before the Oireachtas committee yesterday - Colin Regan is one of the best people you come across in sport - he has this ability to transmit that he is trying to do his very best for everybody he comes in contact with and that's a rare thing in Irish sport so when he talks - we should all listen. 

"And he's saying that parents are being absolute, I don't want to put words in his mouth, but it's a major issue that parents are putting kids off sport by their antics on the sidelines and it's really something that we as a country should address. 

"The suggestion is that it's being driven by the 'win-at-all-costs' mentality - it's also being driven by parents trying to live vicariously through their kids and it's also being driven by the ego of the coach who thinks that the under-10s is Real Madrid and the opposition is Man United and this is his time to be in the Champions League and have a 4-3-3 or have wing-backs and the only ones he can play are the ones in his system as opposed to the kids who show up every week and don't get any game time so this is a trauma in Irish sport which we keep talking about but nothing ever really happens about it.

"And, I'm not sure parents are really looking at themselves and going 'Am I one of those dickhead parents on the sideline shouting'?"

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