Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Example We Set For Good And Bad

photo credit: jacksonlavarnway 3R1A2959.jpg via photopin (license)

All of my kids play basketball, which means I go to a lot of games. I've seen a lot of awesome games and a few bad ones here and there, but last weekend was the kind of game I hope to never witness again.

My fourteen year old son's team started the game and everything seemed normal, but two minutes in the coach of the other team was on the floor yelling at the ref. The ref calmly told him to sit down. He continued to yell that he was defending his players, but backed off the court so the game could continue. I can't even tell you how uncomfortable it was to watch this man try to defend his actions with that excuse. But it didn't end there.

Four minutes into the game one of the other team's players was called for a technical (the kid slammed down the ball in frustration and that's a no-no) and the coach lost all self-control, storming onto the floor, screaming at the ref. He kept on with his tirade and finally ended up ejected from the game. (Four minutes in!) I could not believe it.

The coach did leave the game, but sadly, even without him there, things did not calm down. The parents of the other team kept on with the coach's example and dogged the refs' every call and even went so far as to yell at our team players and make some petty remarks to them. (They are kids!) Some of the remarks were so hurtful and I was appalled that adults would say such things to children. At a recreational league game!

It was an extremely tense situation and it shouldn't have been! At the end of the game, parents were still complaining to the man in charge of city ball, (who had been called down after the coach was ejected), while one of their boys refused to even shake hands with my son. It made me so sad to see that.

These are fourteen year old boys playing. By setting such a poor example and tone, that coach did a disservice to everyone there. I just think those boys deserved better! Unfortunately, it seems like there is always a rationale for negativity and poor sportsmanship these days, but I wish we could somehow uniformly teach the standards of sportsmanship and competition for game situations to these boys who will someday have children of their own to teach and mentor. They are closely watching the behaviors their parents and coaches model for them and we can do better! 

Thankfully, this is an anomaly in my experience and I hope it stays that way. Have you ever had a bad experience at one of your kids' sporting events?


Anonymous said...

When my kids were in sports, I saw a lot of similar behaviors and it saddened me. I also saw parents yelling at their kids from the sidelines, giving them advice - something their coaches should do. Some parents were way too involved. I wonder if they would have done better if they were playing in their child's place. It's easy to give advice from the sideline. I also saw parents berate their children for a bad play. What I tried to do with my kids was, win or lose, to find the play or plays that they masterfully did and compliment them on those plays. I cheered the team and complimented their teammates. Kids are way too hard on themselves, and they need encouragement not lectures. If you focus on what they do right, they do that more often.

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

I agree totally and what great advice. Thank you!