A Chicago Tribune article has some interesting points about adults and their behavior at their children’s sporting events. Having had two athletes of my own, I can honestly say I have probably crossed the line myself. Not with any physical blows, but can understand the heat of the moment outburst. It doesn’t give me a pass to admit it, though.
I come from a family of athletes. We supported each other in every game. It was sort of the culture of my parents to plan our meals, weekends, free time, and food around the athlete (okay, my brothers) who was having a game. Things were rushed, homework done on the fly, and the long drives to and from games often an hour, all told, one way.
It was assumed that, as a mom, I would also be so entrenched in the schedules of my girls. Practices and games were artfully crafted to intertwine with each other. I recall one snowy Saturday where volleyball was scheduled in 2 different cities and dad went to one and me to the other. A switch was made mid-day. This, with two working parents, on a weekend.
Looking back on this “craziness” I have to say I wouldn’t have missed a minute of watching the State title march more than once or the agony of watching a talented daughter learning to hate basketball because of an over ambitious coach and keeping my mouth shut while she learned that life wasn’t always fair or fun.
They were shaped by the ups and downs of sports but I wonder now, was I?
Have we placed too much emphasis on our kids’ successes in sports? According to the Chicago Tribune article, the biggest impact of ugly displays are on the youngsters who have to watch them. Where is the reality of fair play, trying your hardest, working to become better in increments?
The Tribune points out that the National Association of Sports Officials, which has more than 26,000 members, found that 87% had experienced verbal abuse and many are opting out of officiating in areas where this kind of abuse is rampant. Games are being canceled.
It begs the question...
How do I want my child to see the spectator that is me?
Do I blow my top?
Does the coach?
Give it some thought.
Sometime the return we want for our investment cannot be at the expense of our kids.
Thanks for listening.