Recently I was at one of my son’s games, and having a conversation with a friend of mine, when a couple of the parents started.  Yelling at the refs for a call or a missed call, getting frustrated, agitated and not seemingly enjoying the game.

Naturally our attention went to them, and we couldn’t help but wonder why.  What was “the why” behind their need to be so vocal.  As an Executive Coach, my mind immediately went to a bank of questions that I would ask to help them better understand their own why, and the impacts.  Impacts on themselves, their spectator peers and their player.

If you are the type that needs to be vocal, these questions are for you.  Take your time to answer them to yourself. And since you are only doing this for yourself, be honest.  No one outside of you is there to judge.  If you find yourself not being honest with yourself….truly (and you will know), ask yourself about that.  What is keeping you for being honest with yourself? What are you afraid of or worried about?

If you are not one to be the vocal one, try answering these questions as if you were. Perhaps you will gain some insights and empathy to those who are.

If you get stuck on a question, ask it to your self again, and even out loud. If nothing is coming up, move to the next. Not all questions will necessarily resonate, and that’s ok.

  • What do you hope to achieve when you are vocal in a game?
  • How do you think it will help?
  • Who do you think it will help?
  • Who do you think it will hinder?
  • What if it has the opposite effect you are intending?
  • When you think about the impact you are trying to make, what other action could you take?
  • What else?
  • What else?
  • What else?


  • What would happen if you stopped being vocal?
  • How would this impact you?
  • How would this impact those around you? How would this impact your player?
  • How does yelling serve you? How is it serving others?
  • On a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 was your absolute need to be vocal and 0 was no need to be vocal, how would you rate yourself for a typical game?
  • What would you need to do to move that number one digit closer to 0?
  • How likely are you to do that?
  • Who can help you? Who else?
  • Are you willing to try not being vocal?

If you answered yes, we would love to hear about your experience!  Please send us an email to

If you want some help with your need to be vocal, let us know. Happy to coach you through it.

If you answered no, please do your peers a favour and find that secluded space away from the crowd so they can enjoy the game.