Saturday, February 23, 2008

Pushing The Limits

I was a great athlete. Now, I'm a good athlete. I started playing organized sports when I was 8 yrs old. I developed a genuine love and passion for sports. It started with football. I was inspired to play by my uncle who was in the NFL at the time. My father taught me the game. He taught me the rules and fundamentals of the game. More importantly, he never pushed me to play. It was my decision. I

History has now been repeated as my sons are active in sports. Both my 8 year old and 5 year old are playing basketball. The 8 year old has also played baseball and golf. As I watch them play, I wonder if they will be a great as their old man once was. LOL. Maybe...maybe not.

I also watch in amazement some of the parents who are around me. At a basketball game today, I saw parents yelling and screaming at their kids. When the refs make bad calls, I've seen the parents turn their anger toward the refs. Last week, a fight almost broke out between a parent and a ref. And this is a CHURCH league! Some people seem to want to win at all costs. That's not what it's about. It's about these kids having fun. It makes me wonder if the parents are trying to live their childhood again through these kids. I'm not trying to make my sons the next Jordan, LeBron, or Kobe. I'd like to see them develop in their sport and get better each week. Wins and losses don't matter to an 8 year old kid. It doesn't matter to me either. But if you listen to some parents, you'd think it was a matter of life and death. There's nothing wrong with competing but some of this stuff is crazy. Some of these kids are being pushed for all the wrong reasons. Has youth sports gone too far?


~Ms. Moore~ said...

In my humble opinion youth sports has gone too far. It has been out of control for a long time. Correction some of the parents involved in youth sports have gone too far and have been out of control for a long time. There have been countless incidents of arguments and violence against refs by parents of little leaguers. I think I vaguely remember an incident in which the violence by a father led to the death of a ref in high school sports.
The unfortunate part of all this is the influence that it has on the children. They become sore loosers. They do not develop anger management skills. If the child does make it through college ball into the big leagues they more than likely will have still have inside them these issues and bad habits that they learned when they were younger. Next thing you know he is choking a coach or league official because he did not agree with the coaching technique or a call that was made against him. Or they walk off the field before the game is over because they are losing. I know that in pro ball a lot is riding on you winning but that is no excuse to act out. “Man up”, “Keep your head up” and “Never let them see you sweat”. People please act like you had some home training! Oh, I forgot that is the home training that you received.
Bottom line is that some parents are trying to live through their children to make up for their own short comings. They need to remember it’s not whether you win or loose but how you play the game.

L. Renee' said...

our 5yearold son plays soccer and it is tough sometimes to be a parent on the sidelines. My husband and I both are very competetive and we want him to do well. We always cheer for both teams regardless because we are trying to teach him good sportmanship. There are parents at the game who sometimes really get into the game but we have never witnessed anyone acting inappropriately. My husband and I have to check ourselves sometimes because we keep coaching him from the side which can sometimes feel overwhelming to a 5 year old who just wants to play and have fun. We have learned to cheer regardless of who scores and keep a smile on our face even if he lets the opponent score on him. It's just a game.

12kyle said...

You are correct. It's the parents who are out of control. I want to see my sons play well and win but not at all costs. I think kids will be kids. They'll run around and have fun. It's the adults who have the issues.

I understand what you mean about being competitive. I'm the same way. My 8 year old is the starting point guard on the basketball team. As much as I want him to succeed, I won't even yell at him. I want him to learn the fundamentals of the game. If he has a better understanding of the game, he'll be ok. I don't want him to be consumed by what he can't dribbling the ball between his legs.

Don said...

It makes me wonder if the parents are trying to live their childhood again through these kids.

I agree.

In the few Little League Football games I have attended, I was shocked to see how serious the parents of these little kids are.

You spoke about your league being a church league...and people still clown. So you can imagine how a non-church league gets down. lol.

12kyle said...

I can only IMAGINE how crazy the non church leagues are. LOL