We have all experienced people with bad attitudes. In the classroom, in the workplace, in restaurants and fast food places, but most importantly, in sports. Parents put their kids in sports for many reasons: to get them active, to instill hard work, and to help make friends.
I've been in sports since I could pick up a plastic bat and I've always loved it, however, I don't play anymore. I might play again someday, but at least not for a while because of how sports have affected me through the years.
The most predominant group that have ruined sports are the players. I have experienced players on my own team who have the worst attitudes possible. They do not care about their fellow teammates or how well they work together, and usually end up ruining the general flow of the team. They group people up and are unwilling to work with other people even when they have to. They have the worst work ethic that new and younger players will look upon and develop the same habits. Then pair that with coaches that don't do anything about this behavior and you can easily drive people away from ever playing sports.
I had come to hate going to practice during high school because I did not want to face these teammates who were practically useless because they did not try and they did not care. If someone happens to make a mistake and are not as good as them in their eyes or are not one of their friends, they will get yelled at for making a mistake by these poor teammates. Yet no one yells at them when they make a mistake.
So if you had a horrible attitude, excluded people, created clicks within a team, and had no work ethic, please instill better habits in your children so the next generation can enjoy playing a sport.
Coaches also ruined team sports for me. There are some coaches that do not know how to coach. They've played the game but do not know how to instruct someone on how to do the things they have. These coaches can demean you and make you feel like you can't learn the sport only because they can't coach you. Please, take a coaching class or work alongside another coach because the coaches who made me feel like I should know how to do everything already, I never wanted to learn after those experiences. However, there are coaches who do know how to coach but still manage to ruin the game. These are the coaches who don't bother to fix the clicks. They pick favorites despite attitude, work ethic or basic respect. These are the coaches who make people quit. I have seen it firsthand. Anyone outside this click can and will feel like an outsider on their own team. No player deserves to feel like that no matter how competitive it is.
Parents can be no better though. They are the most demanding, the most critical and the most surrounding people. I have had good parents to say the least when it comes to sports, but they can always be critical of mistakes and errors. But there are other parents out there who make playing miserable for their kids. For the people who have had to deal with this, please, don't allow it to keep your kids out of sports, nor let it make you become your parents.
To the next generation of players and coaches, don't make other players feel like they don't deserve to play. Do not demean them and make them feel like an outsider. It deters people from wanting to play. If I didn't have a handful of good teammates and friends, I would not have stayed in sports as long as I did.