The time of year children are spit polished and shined up in new clothes and shoes, backpacks are filled with supplies and athletic wear, and those dreaded school lunches are packed with artistic flair, rather than hastily thrown together if it's .......
It's also a return of thousands of young athletes to football fields, volleyball courts, and hockey arenas for tryouts, cuts, first tournaments and practices. Countless hours are spent practicing new skills, trying to master old ones, and finding a bond with people that may or may not have been played with on some team in the past.
It's also a time when countless coaches volunteer unimaginable hours of their time for a number of personal reasons .... probably as many or more, as the reasons each player chooses to play a sport.
This year, I'd like to see something NEW. Something tangible, realistic, and fairly easy. What could this be?? Surely it must be something tough!?! Something almost unattainable?!
NO to those questions.
This year, I'd like to see parents support coaches, players and referees in a positive way in both practice and games.
I get it - everyone thinks their kid has superior skills in their sport. Everyone thinks their kid should garner the spotlight and an unusual amount of court, field or ice time. And that they are in fact a SUPERSTAR (aren't our children all stars in our own eyes just as they are?) However, there seems to be a huge problem - as this thought process is felt by the majority of parents of each child on each team. Their child is better than anyone else on the team.
Let's look at it in a slightly different manner. Most families have at least one parent if not two (more if there's step parents!), and at least one child or more Now - this is a team of sorts. It has coaches (the parents) and players (the children), striving towards common goals through handwork, effort, drive, determination and sometimes luck.
Would you dream of telling the coaches of this team that they lacked skill? That you feel one of their players is getting unfair attention and they should step it up?? That they weren't qualified to do the job? Would you scream and yell profanities at them from the stands? I'm betting that each and every one of you would hold their tongues and the unkind words that are so freely spouted. It is taboo to criticize someone's family, yet it has become perfectly acceptable to criticize a team and it's coaches.
So, let's now look at all players and coaches as more than just a team. Let's look at them as a blended family that is striving towards the same goals and ideas to make everyone better together.