Life

I’m a Super-Competitive Dad. Here’s How I Learned to (Sort of) Keep My Cool on the Sidelines.

I didn't want to turn into one of those asshole sports dads. So I made these three promises.

Updated: 
Originally Published: 

About four weeks ago, I stood in complete shock watching a fellow sports dad berate his six year old softball playing daughter. First, for not making an easy play from pitcher to first base (actually, there are no easy plays when you’re six). Second, for crying after he laid-into her for the poor fielding. It was one of those, “Do I say something?” moments. I half expected a What Would You Do camera crew to jump-out from behind the dugout telling me what a jerk I was for watching that unholy episode transpire.

What an asshole, I thought after seeing this dad’s behavior. I even called my wife from the field to tell her how horrified I was, and exclaim (aloud this time) what an asshole the guy was.

I’m what you’d call an old dad. I didn’t have my first child until I was 37. I had my last at 41. I have three total. In a few years, people will start saying, “How nice that your grandpa brought you to school” or “I wonder why her dad couldn’t be at the recital.” Because of my ripe old age, I like to think I’m above that kind of “youthful exuberance” – i.e. yelling at your kid for a bad throw. Or to put it another way, above being an asshole at my children’s sporting events. I have perspective, a greater understanding of life and what’s important. I’ve seen things…experienced things… I know better.

Yeah, right.

This story was submitted by a Fatherly reader. Opinions expressed in the story do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fatherly as a publication. The fact that we’re printing the story does, however, reflect a belief that it is an interesting and worthwhile read.

playing sportskids and their sportsFirst, I will focus on giving ultimate deference to the coaches and umpires.Why wasn’t the coach instructing her?Second, I will focus solely on being encouraging to my daughter

Third, I will focus my daughter on encouraging her teammates.

Morgan Price is a father of three living and working in Southern California. He enjoys making-up crazy bed-time stories with his kids and ensuring they are bilingual in both English and Sarcasm.

This article was originally published on