NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As kids head back to school, for many of them it’s also back to sports, and some parents are the one’s who need coaching on keeping cool on the sidelines.

Parents often lose it at their child’s games and sometimes get into fights. The video proof is all over the internet.

Jenna Fox told CBS2’s Cindy Hsu on Wednesday she even sees parents get crazy at her gymnastics competitions, adding that kind of behavior takes a toll on young athletes.

“It mentally makes them feel like they’re not good enough,” said Fox, 14. It makes them like not want to do the sport as much anymore. It makes them not love what they actually love to do.”

Ellie Davis plays college soccer, and said she sees a lot of parents get out of hand.

(Photo: CBS2)

“I think it sends your own child the wrong message, that it’s OK to talk back to the referee, which it’s not, and I think it just shows that you can’t control yourself,” Davis said.

Mount Sinai Hospital sports medicine Dr. Eric Small has coached his four sons in soccer and baseball.

“I’ve seen parents come out of the stands and go threaten an official,” Small said.

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The kids get embarrassed, which can negatively affect their performance and personality.

“The child can become introverted or they, themselves, can become aggressive, so it not only affects their self-confidence, it affects their athletic performance and it affects their whole state of well being,” Dr. Small said.

Many experts say sideline parenting is getting worse, as our children face more and more pressure to succeed.

“Life is becoming more competitive. It is harder to get into college and to get that A-plus,” said Dr. Ariella Silver of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.

Social media adds another layer of pressure on kids, so it’s up to coaches and parents to create a positive environment around sports. Experts say if you want your kids to stick with sports, be a supporter with encouraging cheers, not a critic with negative shots.

“So the number one reason that children stay in sports was found because they have fun,” Dr. Silver said.

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But if it becomes all about competition and pressure, that’s when kids often quit.

Experts say if a friend or spouse is the one getting out of hand at games, videotaping them on your phone and then later showing them their behavior can be a way to help convince them to change.


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