Tuesday, April 8

Wsup Wit Dat? - Wild Parents at Kids Sports

Hi Y'all its your favorite hater.. OK OK, your favorite 'satirist', since it sounds professional. (Hey, now I'm not selling out, I'm just keepin' it moving!) I'm still gonna keep it real in my own, Jon Loki way.
I have wrote under my "Wsup Wit Dat" title for over 8 posts now I believe. For this one, I had so much to write about I need to break it down in a list or else Ill end up writing a long post that will turn off everyone by it's length. So lets go...
Man, in the past years, Ive been to several little league or youth league games of nephews', nieces', godsons', friends' kids or friends' younger siblings' different sport. You got some wild ass parents in the stands, shouting weird crap at the fields or at the stands. I mean there are moms who get mad heated at the games, you'd think they bet their house on the game. Shouting matches between parents seem to happen every time I go to games this year. The leagues I'm talking about are in the 14 or under leagues too. It seems like as soon as it gets to the high school level the parents and crowds chill out more. Its less hectic and kaotic versus the 10 year old games. What I'm saying is that by the time your kids get to high school you know your kid is actually pretty good to make the school team, so extracurricular activity in the stands is futile.
I have told some people off but it felt good for me but it didn't make things any better nor prevented it from happening at the next game. If the last 25 minutes of the movie, The Bad News Bears (2005) still didn't help you see the light. I put together a list for you breaking it down.
So here's my list to remind parents or adults to chill when they are at their youth leagues:
1) Stop shouting profanities! You want kids to pick that habit up? Same as if you were taking your children to watch a rated G movie! Cheer and yell support. Yes, I get emotional too, but you need not curse like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, even if it is funny. Start a cheer to support your team and be the loudest to vent out the tension.
2) You are not the coach, owner, GM or president of your kid's team. Let the coaches coach their philosophy and work their roster. Usually in leagues 13 yrs of age or younger, coaches are advise by the league to emphasize fundamentals and sportsmanship. Screaming at the coach for not sending a kid to score is not a priority. The coaches are in the same league as the kids and usually are volunteers.
3) Forget about what the opponent's parents or fans are yelling. Even if it is towards your team or kid, advise a league rep, if not, another coach (from any other team to look at what you are noticing about the rude individuals). Someone should be able to get the ump or the playing coaches to tell them to calm down. There was an argument I witnessed at a 12 yr old girls basketball game. Someone from the stands actually yelled 'MISS' when a girl was on the free-throw line. The parent of the girl shooting started yelling at the kid who yelled the distraction, then the parent of that kid got into it with her. The ref showed his authority and stopped play until the ruckus stopped. He then made the girl re-do her free throw.
4) Your kid is not in the MLB, NBA or NFL or pro league yet. One of the reasons why adults get so emotional is that they have high expectations of their kids. Sure, Freddy Adu turned pro at 15, but if your son was that good, some scout would be calling you about him already! If they haven't, let your child make mistakes and teach them to learn from it. You can then guage how he is improving. I'm sure Ladainian Tomlinson, missed a block or fumbled at age 13!
5) Same league, same family. Some families forget that all the families are on the same team because they are in the same league. It's so funny when you parents seem to dislike one another one year when your kids are on the two best opposing teams. Then the next year, your kids are playing on the same squad or even made it to the same traveling team. Then you talk and realize you share the same ideals, and are merely looking out for your children. Also, if the new kid isn't as good, welcome him/her and educate the new parents to understand the pride you take for the team. Then they will advise their kid, so they will feel motivated to get better. I see so many parents boycott the family of the not so athletic kids.
6) When the game is over the game is over. No one is to blame. Just like Yogi said; it aint over till its over. Well, in youth sports, there seems to be more sore losers who dwell on the loss. I'm not just talking about the kids. When your kids come to you after a loss, say it was a well played game no matter what (and the ball bounces in funny ways) and point out a good move he/she made. Kids love pointing the finger of blame, adults should not. No one is to blame; not the coaches, not the umps, not the league, not even the opponents cheating. Just advise that it takes a little bit more team effort to pull out a win next game. This a process of growing.
7) Your lucky to have a kid willing to play. Weren't you just as excited when you asked your kid (you did ask right? ha) if they wanted to play a sport and they said, YES! Kids don't know as much as you do, so accept the fact that you are gonna do most of the legwork like, schedules, rides, phone numbers, equipment, extra laundry and food. All they wanna do is play the game. This one kills me; when I hear the wack-ass parents (yeah I had to shout someone out! It just wouldn't be me if I didn't, nah-mean! ha) bitching to their kids what they go through to keep them on the team. If your trying to make them feel guilty, you are. There goes their self-esteem.
8) Is it you or your child who really wants to participate? Per part of #7, did you really get a 'YES' from your kid that they wanted to join the league or join again. Or is it all you, pressuring their decision making? If your kid hasn't shown motivation or a sense of excitement after a year or two seasons, maybe it is time to find another interest. Team sports are not for everyone, even though I think it generates a team spirit and team attitude for life.

Lastly, what I like to tell some people who still are unable to realize the above list: Try to remember when you were that age. We were all kids once upon a time! It was ALL for one word... F-U-N !

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