Thursday, September 16, 2010

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Who are these people? Where do they come from? And why? Why I ask you do they think that screaming at their kids on the sidelines is in any way encouraging to the child? Just wondering. My seven year old son plays soccer. At this age they are happy not to accidentally score for the opposing team. There are no great talents in the group, no one is going to be getting recruited to the big leagues real soon. They are just a bunch of second and third grader running around blowing off steam so their parents can get them in bed on time without more than one story at night. Or perhaps some parents don't read to their kids at bedtime. I wouldn't know. I can only say what happens in my house and after running to and fro and getting dinner,showers, homework, etc. I'm excited that he's worn himself out enough to go straight to sleep without reading three chapters once or twice a week.

So at a recent soccer game some parents for the opposing team were just ruthless. They kept screaming at their child. "Get that ball" "Pay attention" "What is wrong with you?" "If you don't do better I'm pulling you out!" And so it went, for an hour. Seriously? I would have walked off the field and said "Don't bother! This is no longer fun. I'll pull myself out of the game." The kid in question was running his little heart out. I felt sorry for the kid. I was wishing I had money to help with the counseling he'll need later. But then I figured his parents could take care of it assuming that he came around to their way of thinking, or if not of course they would pull him out. Ha! Let's just take some kids who are trying to learn a sport they may or may not be interested in continuing and if they aren't "bending it like Beckham" we'll just dash all their hopes away by yelling at them the entire time. In addition to embarrassing the kid in front of their friends. So seriously who are these people? Are they trying to live out their childhood fantasies through their kids? Are they higher than a kite? Are they missing a dose on some much needed medication? I'd like to know.

I'm all for encouraging your kid. By all means yell for your team. "Way to go" "Good job guys" "Let's go " Do your favorite cheer. But honestly let's be realistic here. The odds are not in the favor of your kid turning into the next big thing if all you do is steal his spirit and love of the game. Never in my life have I heard a professional athlete thank his parents for screaming at them and making it so unbearable to play their sport they felt they had no choice but to succeed or suffer the consequences. Yeah that's not real common I don't think. If so then perhaps I'm doing it all wrong. I watch my kid. I yell good job. Afterward I rarely even know if they won or lost. I just ask if he had fun. I figure the chances of one of my kids becoming the "next big thing" is pretty slim. Not that they are bad at what they do, but the fact is that we live in a small rural community. The most exciting thing we have going is the fact we don't even have mail delivery so we have to go pick it up. Which is in itself hilarious, as it's so small here, it's not like it would necessarily take long to deliver it all. Frankly whoever did it, could be done by lunch weather pending of course. Also we are not a tall people in our house. I'm maybe 5'4" on a "good day" My husband is maybe 5'7" on a good day. I'm just holding out hope that one of my kids hits 5'9" so they can reach the tall shelves in the kitchen so I don't have to stand on a chair to reach things.

While we are on the subject of sports. Who are these people? You know the ones, they hate your team. Any call against their team is bad. Of course you have paid off the refs, that or there is some other unjust reason why they can't win. It couldn't possibly be that their team just isn't as good, or has had an off night. Oh no. They are the ones yelling at the refs, glaring at your kids, glaring at you for cheering for your team, and rolling their eyes at your cheers. They have obviously forgotten that they are all children on the court or field. They seem to think it's proper etiquette to yell obscenities at your kids and call them cheats. I'll be the first to admit that I went to a football game once and they all had cow bells they were clinging. Seriously cow bells. To me it's just goofy, what on earth do cow bells have to do with football? But in no way would I start insulting those who feel that's the best way to cheer for their team. By all means clang away. I assume you realize the team can't hear them from that distance but if it makes you feel better, do it.

I am not an athlete. I have never been an athlete. I married one. I have kids who are. Personally I'm not competitive enough. Also I run like a girl. It's quite a sight really. Also I'm too big of a klutz to be an athlete. It requires far more coordination than what I was given or have acquired. If you can run around the block without passing out, God bless you. I can't run from my driveway to the stop sign three houses down, without the feeling of needing an oxygen tank. It's just not me. Walking? That I can do. I can even walk briskly. But as a non-athlete I fail in the understanding of how very important it all is. Team spirit I get. Coming together to work toward a common goal I get. Even doing something for exercise and keeping in shape,I get. But losing gracefully to me is an even better success than the winning. Sometimes I think winners are just mean. By all means celebrate your victory. I just don't see doing that at the expense of the others. I don't see rubbing it in. I don't see talking poorly of the other team, when they tried just as hard to win. This is why I'm not an athlete. That and the fact I have no athletic ability whatsoever. But you get my point. The joy should be in the playing. If you get so wrapped up in the winning or losing you lose the spirit of the game. You lose why you started playing in the first place. The saying is "It's not about winning or losing, it's about how you play the game." I think some would do well to remember that. I also think the people on the sidelines should remember that for them it shouldn't be about winning or losing, it should be about who has the best refreshments. But then for me it's always about the food.

No comments: