I have started to loathe children sporting events.
A couple weeks ago, I was able to go back home to Lansing, KS and visit my family. During my weekend, I went to see my oldest nephew, age 11, play for his peewee football team. As a dedicated aunt to three nephews and a niece, I have seen my fair share of children sports, ranging from soccer to baseball and even some basketball. All the sports I’ve gone to watch all have one common factor.
It never changes. Sometimes, it’s the same parent, just a different sport. Every week, they sit in the bleachers and swear at the refs, yell at their kid and even get into an argument with another parent.
Sure, I would love for one of my kids to grow up and become some hot-shot athlete, but I realized that they all have their own goals in life and this sport is just an excuse to have fun and be around friends. I offer friendly advice and even help them practice on occasion when they really want to nail a certain aspect. But I don’t make them shoot 100 free throws or run from endzone-to-endzone just because I want them to be “the best.”
I mean, yeah, I honestly could do a better job coaching than the people who are, but I realized that those guys are volunteers, and often times, a parent. I won’t embarrass my nephew by storming up to his coach after the game and yell about my kid’s lack of playing time or that he screwed up by running the same play 80 times back-to-back. This isn’t a pro-league where the coach has a playbook stacked with different tactics and a whole group of people watching that can help him call plays.
No one likes referees. Or umpires. Or anyone who calls the shots in a game. They can seem dumb, biased, or just plain harsh. But it isn’t their fault that your kid dropped the ball and the other team picked it up. They have to make calls on bad plays because that’s their job.
They aren’t saying the other team recovered the fumble just because they like the other team better. If they were able to pull the game in favor of another team, they would just change the score. A call is a call. Not a bias ruling.
I’m not one to hold my tongue, so I tend to state out-loud about how ridiculous someone is being. I just have such little tolerance for people who act as if their kid is some God-sent gift of athletic talent, when he’s really just another pre-teen who just happened to sack the QB.
So here’s my advice to any parent that is way too involved in their child’s sporting events: they’re only kids, it’s only a game, coaches are volunteers, umpires/referees are humans, and your kid does not play for the St. Louis Cardinals.