The term is an old and often over-used one. I’m guilty of being one myself, although I have done a good job over the years of toning it down.

I’m trying to quit. I hope all those equally guilty as charged are trying just as hard.

Figured it out yet?

If anyone has – or ever has been, an “armchair quarterback” please raise a hand. Some might feel like they need to use both hands.

I read a recent online article, not sure who wrote it and I wish I had saved it, about parents who coach their kids from the stands. Granted, that’s not exactly the exact same as being an armchair quarterback, which is usually associated with sitting in front of the television yelling at players and coaches … but it bears the same symptoms.

I’m convinced there’s not a person in the world who would give up what they’re doing for a living to take on the monumental challenge of being a head coach, especially at the middle and high school levels. Yet they feel like they know more than the coach does when it’s game time.

I’ll admit, there are people in the world who likely do know as much or more about how to play a sport than their child’s coach. But usually, those are the ones who remain silent and keep their mouths shut and let the coach do his job, right or wrong, as he is paid to do.

How embarrassing and inappropriate would it have been for Archie Manning to yell instructions to Cooper, Peyton and Eli when they were playing for Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans? Picture sitting in the stands with parents Archie and Olivia in attendance, watching Peyton toss the ball around back in the day and hearing Archie, the Ole Miss and New Orleans legend, shouting loudly to Peyton, telling him he needs to do something different than what his coach told him to do.

A coach from the local area recently posted a short but to-the-point factoid to parents who feel like they need to coach their kids from the stand. The post basically said that absolutely nothing positive or constructive comes from doing so.

Parents need to learn to cheer for their kids and not coach them when they are on the field or on the court playing for their park or school teams. Allow the coaches to coach and whether anyone agrees with how they do things or not, please let it be. Pulling a child from one team and placing them on another won’t work either because no coach is perfect and a parent will find themselves still trying to coach from the stands.

I’m not immune from this issue but my situation is much better now that my kids are far removed from school and not playing sports anymore. However, I’d like to think I have learned my lesson and would not attempt to coach from the stands even if I did have kids that age.

This problem carries over into the home situation where the term “armchair quarterback” originated. Picture dad sitting in his recliner yelling and shouting at the coaches and players, even the referees, when his opinion differs from theirs.

It’s a pretty safe bet that, even if we vow not to be armchair quarterbacks anymore, we’ll fall off the wagon occasionally. It’s gonna happen because it’s a habit and habits aren’t something that isn’t eliminated or overcome immediately.

My grandmother was a ‘backseat driver’. That’s a bit different than what we’ve been talking about, but it’s in the same family. We tend to be critical and forceful when it comes to opinions … how we do things opposed to how others do things. That’s where the problem begins.

I encourage every person who falls under the umbrella of being an “armchair quarterback” to make a resolution today to admit the problem and vow to do something to make it better.

Coaches don’t need parents yelling from the stands when they have entrusted their sons and daughters to them for that very purpose.

Until next time …

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