Monday, February 1, 2010

"Adults" & Children's Sporting Events

Sometimes the behavior of "adults" just astounds me. Particularly when it comes to children's sporting events.

No one came forward to coach my son's 7th grade traveling basketball team, so my husband agreed to take it. He has coached basketball several times before, including a traveling girls' 6th grade team, but this is the oldest boys' team he's led.

This team has taken immense amounts of his free time. This last week, four of seven nights were spent at games, taking time away from his responsibilities at home and his interactions with our other children. But my husband does it with an upbeat attitude.

It's me who has the problem.

I sit at games and listen to parents all around me whine and complain about dh's coaching. [This is a team that struggles; it includes several players who've never before played b-ball.] Parents who know nothing about basketball...parents whose kids are barely making the team...parents who were asked to coach and refused...sit there and complain aloud about my husband's skills.

Last night as we were leaving a game, my husband stopped one dad to tell him, "Your son did a great job tonight."

The response? "Your team needs to get more competitive out there." And then the parent continued to berate my husband's job as coach.

It just astounds me.

You know what else astounds me?

Last night, we watched a great game of basketball. With minutes left in the fourth quarter, and with their team well ahead, the opposing coach suddenly springs aggressively toward the court and screams at the top of his lungs, "STOP SLAPPING THE BALL AROUND!!!!!" The entire gym of people froze in stunned silence. I've NEVER heard someone scream that loud at a game before. Apparently, he was yelling at his own team. A ref told him to "settle down." Then one of the parents on that team asked him to chill out. The coach responded with an outbreak of profanity.

What in the world are we doing? These are SEVENTH GRADE CHILDREN. People are starving in Haiti. This is a GAME. Or it's supposed to be. What are we teaching our children?!?!

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