17 February 2013

The Monster On the Sidelines

Little League baseball on a Saturday afternoon...
Little League baseball on a Saturday afternoon, 30 May 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We've all seen them, that dad who takes his kids participation in sports as if it were a life or death situation. They yell at kids, refs, coaches, other parents and whoever else gets in there way. It's also not unusual for them to interrupt practices to give their children that "extra bit of advice" during drills or scrimmages. Their testosterone filled rants get them thrown out of little league and pop warner games time and time again.

These dads, although they have a noteworthy motive, have ruined sports for all of us. As a soccer coach, I observed athletes on the sidelines devastated because of what their parents have told them (fortunately none of my players). Even worse I have had to defend my players against parents from the  opposing team. What ever happened to sportsmanship? It has been shattered by theses overly aggressive dads (and in some cases moms) who have decided to lose all sense of decency at the local recreational center.

As a result we now have several leagues who have changed their sports programs into what are essentially "outdoor activities" to combat the outrageously competitive nature of the monsters we once called parents. The competition portion of sports has been removed and leagues have refused to take score. The children run around the field aimlessly with little motivation for performing at the height of their abilities. Kids are not given the opportunity of learning to work together  as a team to accomplish a goal of winning. The adrenaline of a close game is never experienced and the art of losing gracefully is dead.

The generations behind us have little chance of understanding what they are missing. They find it harder to accept defeat in life. Everything has become an "everyone is a winner" situation. That's just not how life works. You win some and you lose some, it's how you move on from both that makes you better.
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