I have never been much of an athlete, or a huge sports fan for that matter. I don’t discourage my kids from playing sports, but I don’t exactly push either. An incident that occurred a few days ago at a local high school is a prime example of why I tend to shy away from competitive sports when it comes to my kids.
It’s not that I think sports are boring. It’s not that I believe that competition is bad; just the opposite. I think kids need healthy competition, and none of this getting an award just for showing up stuff. Competition builds character and prepares children for the real world, where not everything will go their way, and they won’t be applauded for doing the bare minimum. I also don’t worry about my kids getting hurt (ok maybe a little…but not enough to forbid them to play).
My kids have done cross country, soccer, and flag football off an on over the years, and one thing I have noticed that keeps me from hurrying to line up and register for next season’s sport is the behavior of some parents at the games.
My kids are still young. These are not professional athletes. It’s not the playoffs. Screaming at your kid if they are having an off day and miss a goal is not ok. Screaming at someone else’s kid? Definitely not ok. Attacking the ref? You belong in jail.
Friendly competition at kids sporting events has become an even bigger competition among some parents, and I don’t want my kids to experience that if they don’t have to. There is no reason on God’s green earth to be yelling and screaming from the sidelines unless you are cheering yourself hoarse. The fanatical parents are ruining it for the rest of us who just want our kids to enjoy playing a sport they love.
I have no idea who the woman in the article is; a relative or a parent from the opposing team. I would imagine it would be someone vested in the players since the opposing team was from Oakland, which is more than three hours away from here. If it was a parent, what example are they setting?
I wrote a post recently about how we are working with my daughter to teach her how to lose gracefully (or at least be able to accept it). It’s hard to watch your kid pitch a fit if they lose at something, especially when they are working so hard on learning to control themselves and keep calm, so having to watch a capable, grown-ass woman not be able to reign it in is completely disgusting to me.