So I coach youth soccer and youth basketball. I have been pretty lucky with my teams in that I personally haven't had to deal with any knucklehead parents. I lay out my expectations early and really focus on trying to improve my kids' skills and tactics. Frankly, I think most of the kids enjoy playing for me and the parents enjoy seeing their kids improve. We don't win all our games, but we play the right way and kids have fun. That is the way it should be for 8 year old kids.
That said, I am amazed/disappointed by the behavior I sometimes see from other coaches and parents during games. There are too many parents who are yelling all kinds of crazy stuff during games. You have coaches who coach like it is the NCAA finals and you can see the kids are scared.
My basketball team is 3-5 on the year. There are 18 teams in the youth league I coach in, and somehow we ended up playing all 4 of the undefeated teams. All five of our loses came against teams that were undefeated and the other one was against a team that is 5-2. We lost to one undefeated team by 1, another by 2, and this weekend we were leading against another undefeated team at halftime before slipping away and losing by 10 in the second half. We were competitive in all of our games except one, so I am proud of our boys.
However, that one game where we got crushed, the opposing coach really poured it on. First he had his guys playing an illegal 2-3 zone D with his best players playing up top. The league requires man-to-man D. Then, he has one player who is just far and away the best player in the league. We ended up losing that game by 35 points, but the irritating thing was that he was still pushing his boys to pour it on late in the game and he continued to use his top player to do it. When you are up by 15 and your top scorer has 90 percent of your points, it is time to get other guys involved. Quite an odd experience, because I have been up in games this year by 10-12 points and then I ask my guys to try to get everyone to score. All my players have scored this year - which I would venture to say has not been the case for a lot of teams - and all of them have improved. I am not sure I can say the same for some of the "top" teams.
The good thing is that we play some of the weaker teams in the next 3 weeks and probably will end up strong and with a winning record for the season. I hope that happens, because it will give my guys some reward for working so hard and playing through a tough, tough scedule.