The 7 Kinds of Youth Sports Parents

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No, this parent is not a ham radio enthusiast. That weird looking box thing they carry with them at all times is a portable defibrillator … and it might just save your child's life!

A youth soccer game might not seem like a heart-stopping event, but they read this one story on the Internet somewhere. There's also this other story they heard from the parent of an opposing player, that's why they also bring that bag full of instant cold packs, smelling salts, and assorted foods that are high in electrolytes. You can tell their kid from the others because he's the one playing a non-contact sport with a helmet on and drinking a Gatorade made specifically for marathoners.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "(Gasp!) My baby!"

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Not only has he been named "Dad of the Year" (unofficially via coffee mug) for making it to every one of his son's games, he's also won numerous regional amateur photography awards for the pictures taken at said games.

Growing up, his parents never supported his passion for photography, and his wife always said it was stupid — so a state-of-the-art-camera was the obvious choice when it came to buying himself a gift to celebrate his 50th birthday/divorce. Believe it or not, but photographing his own kid playing tennis hasn't helped him much financially, so he's looking to "branch out" and do some weddings and other events.

No, really, here's his card. Take it. Tell your friends.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "Here's that 8×10 action shot of your kid you never asked me for."

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If it weren't for a suspect clipping call in the state championship game, he'd probably be playing in the pros and counting his millions — not watching a bunch of 8-year-olds try to throw a spiral. But alas "Smitty" had to go and set that illegal, touchdown-negating block. So here this guy is spending his days off from the tire yard molding his son into a 5-star prospect with hours of agility training, practice Wonderlic tests, and Muscle Milk soaks for optimal epidermal protein intake.

And when he's not doing that, he's playing in numerous ultra-competitive "Over 35" leagues. Basically anything that isn't admitting that his multiple knee injuries and terrible coke habit, not a blown call in a high school playoff game, is what scared away the scouts.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "Yeah, I could have played D1 … ."

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It's hard for any parent to accept that their child isn't the star of the team, so you can imagine how difficult it must be for someone who still strongly believes that Paul McCartney is dead.

No, it can't be that their kid isn't good enough, or that they never practice, or that they've personally requested not to go in so they could sit on the bench and watch. It's got to be something else.

This parent has never liked they way the coach looks at him and definitely thinks there is something going on between him and one of the other player's mothers. Why else would he design every play around that tall kid LeKobe? This parent's kid would have made that foul shot … if it weren't that no-good coach messing around with his form.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "It's all politics."

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This parent would much rather watch their kid do algebra instead of "Laxin', brah," but they also know the importance of having a well-rounded college resume.

This parent can easily be identified by their interesting (think straight Elton John) headwear, and interest in everything and anything that isn't the "monstrosity" that's taking place at mid-field. If and when there's a conflict between school work and athletics, you know this parent will be quick to remind their child that "The Ivies" don't give out athletic scholarships.

If, somehow, the young athlete is persistent enough to convince their parents that sports are a worthwhile endeavor, rest assured a Bill Bradley poster is in their future.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "Remember,it's student athlete, not athlete student."

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People who love the Green Bay Packers are called "Cheeseheads," people who live and die with "The Saaaaaawks" are part of "Red Sox Nation," and people who are that emotionally invested in a youth sports team don't have an official nickname. Because not many exist. But those who do are either someone on the team's mother or someone who has to "introduce" himself door-to-door every time he moves into a new neighborhood.

Only the most loving of mothers (with literally nothing else going on in her life) could look past a team's inability to do anything right, sew themselves a replica jersey, and bake enough brownies for the team and their opponent. The only thing this parent likes more than celebratory pizza is inviting people over for pool parties. And the only thing she likes more than that is shortening "bathing suit" to "suit."

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "LET'S GO WILDCATS! WOOO!!!"

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You know that kid who, despite being super friendly and nice, has no business being on the team? Ever wonder how he not only made it past three rounds of cuts, but started every game at shortstop despite striking-out looking every at-bat and confusing a bunt for part of a European dessert?

Look up into the stands. You see that Gisele Bundchen look-alike who just jumped up and down and yelled "Touchdown!" after a wild pitch? That's why.

This parent isn't guilty of doing anything inappropriate, unless you consider tanning topless at a youth baseball game inappropriate. This parent's kid might be severely lacking in the skills department, but coaches and pubescent members of the team will agree, it's nice having someone sitting in the stands who hasn't totally given up on life.

Favorite thing to say while watching from the bleachers: "Oops, I didn't realize this bikini top wasn't a shirt (giggle)."

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