Passionate About Columbia SC
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The 6 Types of Recreational Sports Parents You’ll Find at the Field

In our family, it has begun, recreational sports. We wrapped up soccer season recently, and wow. For the first time, I was in the bleachers watching my child play (instead of playing on the field myself) and let me just put one thing out there…


Thank you to my parents who shelled out buckets upon buckets of money when I was younger so I could play. My son is only 5, and between registering him for soccer and buying all the gear we dropped about $300. This doesn’t include the gas to drive to the field all the way downtown, because that’s where all his friends play, or the econo-size box of individually bagged Pirate’s Booty and Capri Suns we had to buy for team snack.

Like any other human, I love people watching. So I brought this hobby with me to the 9 a.m. Saturday morning games. I took copious notes and would like to present you with the official Types of Parents; Recreational Sports Edition.

The Socialite Parent

This is the parent who knows everyone. This person hops from group of parents to group of parents starting up a real conversation (by real I mean more than, ‘Ay, yeah this weather, eh?’), and keeps it going. They know what’s happening in your life, and of course, you know what is going on with their’s. There is no bias on the employment of this parent, work-at-home, stay-at-home or work-far-away-from-home. You often wonder where they keep their notebook full of the all the things they know.

The “What are Sports?” Parent

This parent has been caught on more than one occasion cheering for their child to ‘get a basket’ at their soccer game. You want to take them under your wing and obi-one-kanobi them, show them the ways of the parent cheering role. They usually have never played sports, but support and love their child – so they do their best. Make the points, score the baskets. Yay sportsball!

The “You’re Embarrassing Me” Parent

These kids may be five, but there is that one child who is totally over their parent and their support. Yeah, so mom ordered 50 lime green shirts online with their kids face on them and the entire family is wearing them while they cheer from the sidelines and tailgate before and after the game. Family reunion!

The Legacy Parent

There is always one, or two. In my day [said in an old man voice, while talking about walking uphill both ways to school], I don’t remember them showing face this young, but I have spotted the early onset of the legacy parent, sometimes easily confused with the ‘taking this too serious parent’ (which I will not be touching with a ten foot pole). They are the parent who played the sport when they were younger, they have big dreams and expectations for their little one and how they will follow in their footsteps.

The Snack Parent

This parent has a membership to Costco, Sam’s Club and possibly a culinary degree. They rock their snack day with the juiciest orange slices you have ever had. Capri Suns straws are pre-inserted into each pouch to avoid the unavoidable breakdown that happens when a straw is punctured straight through the pouch. And hot cocoa and warm cookies on those cooler mornings that they pulled straight from the oven they had put into their mobile kitchen.

The White Rabbit Parent

This parent is always late. Always. (See what I did there?) The game whistle is about to blow and you can see them pull into the parking lot like they’re trying to beat the pace car at the track. You swear you have even seen them slide sideways into a parking spot. Which is followed by the mad dash to the field while helping their child get into uniform.

So fess up, which parent are you?

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One Response to The 6 Types of Recreational Sports Parents You’ll Find at the Field

  1. Katie January 6, 2018 at 8:10 am #

    We’re not yet a sports family, but I know we’re getting close. I know I want o be the socialite parent, but based on my track record, I’m pretty sure I’ll be White Rabbit parent (leaving me feeling guilty on two counts—my kid’s late and I’ve missed all the pre-game social time). Maybe I’ll miraculously overcome my lateness before then! Or maybe you can just compliment my awesome driving/parking skills as I run up to the sideslines.

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