Anyone that has supported a child, nephew, niece, grandchild, etc. has been there and admonished the parent that lives vicariously through their child. These are the ones that have changed the Youth Sports landscape from a fun way to exercise and grow into adulthood with a plethora of good habits.
Into a $15 billion a year behemoth that has parents getting a second or third job to get their kids into competition for the sport of choice. This atmosphere and financial commitment are what has spurned this toxic culture we all have to wade through.
When I spoke with former Colorado Rockies pitcher and current Rockies broadcaster Jason Hirsh about this topic, I got a nuanced response:
"“The toxicity is based around the parents, the coaches, and the money,” said the former Rockies pitcher. “Those three things are a terrible combination because you have expectations, because there’s a lot of money in play, you have play time expectations.” He added, “[i]f I’m going to pay $5,000 a year for my kid to play in this league, they better play $5,000 worth of games.”"
He went on to expand on the toxic coaching contribution. He stated that even though, “there are great coaches out there. Grossly misinformed, or ill-informed coaches” can be a detriment to the player.
He expanded on how with a story about a player who hid an injury because of the fear he had of disappointing his father. He then reached out to his coach because of the pain in his elbow, and was promptly and erroneously told to “throw through it”. As Hirsh noted, this was the wrong answer.