As parents head for athletic fields, weighed down with folding chairs, water bottles and shin guards, the telltale symptoms begin to manifest.
Not the runny nose and itchy eyes of spring’s pollen-fest — we’re talking about screaming at officials, coaches or a child. Tallying a child’s playing time and comparing it with teammates’ playing time. Spending hours poring over travel team schedules and off-season skill clinics, then shuffling the activities in a calendar app until every hour of every day of a child’s life is crammed. Meaning the parent’s life is crammed.
Sports psychologists have referred to this seasonal illness as Little League Parent Syndrome. It originates from a nagging feeling that getting your 4-year-old on just the right teams for swimming, soccer and lacrosse — possibly at the same time — is serious business.
See what youth sports consultant Luis Fernando Llosa, who co-wrote the book Beyond Winning: Smart Parenting in a Toxic Sports Environment (Lyons Press, 2013), has to say in Wednesday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Family section.