How much of a premium should we put on kids sports and winning?
I recently read an article about a guy who, as he watched from the sidelines of a soccer game, how many parents got really mad when their little kids goofed something up on the field. He decided to make up a survey and pass it around some soccer fields to see how many parents would admit the anger at their kids because they made a mistake. He also added some other anger questions about the coaching, the opposing team, etc.
After doing the survey for a couple of Saturdays at a number of games, he said he found that 60 percent of the parents said they got mad at every game about something. Seemingly nice, quiet, peaceable people admitted they sometimes came to great anger over a missed shot by their kid or a fouled up dribble down the field. A lot also admitted that they got mad at the coach a number of times and at the other team, even if they really had not done anything wrong, but win.
What is going on here with kids sports? Do people have such dull lives that they must live vicariously through their kids and when they can't do that they get angry? And what about coaches? I have seen anger in them a number of times, both at the high school level and at the mighty might level. Can we really expect eight year old kids to take sports as seriously as we do? More importantly should we?
Many kids, who have good futures in sports quit because of unreasonable coaches. Sure some quit because they don't want to do the work and/or take the pain to do the gain. But many just leave because, of poor coaches. Most kids sports are coached by parents, many of who have little training in coaching. Many just played the sport themselves and watched their coaches as they were kids; maybe some bad habits have moved from one generation to another.
A number of years ago I was watching a college football game on television, and it was between two teams I liked. I had always had great respect for one of the coaches who was leading his team that year to hopefully a national championship. Things went bad in that game for his team. Sure there were some bad calls and there were some unfair things done to his players by the other team. But his team was no angel corps either. As the last quarter drew to a close I watched on television as this guy I had always respected moped around the field, and actually sat down against the stands and became non-responsive to his players and assistant coaches. Toward the end he got up and grabbed one of his players and actually threw him on the ground. I lost total respect for that guy, someone who I had admired for a long time. Just imagine how I would have felt if I was a player on that team, much closer to the situation. And imagine if I was eight years old and had seen my coach do that kind of thing.
By the way that team self destructed and didn't go anywhere.
Everyone who coaches or has kids in sports needs to get their heads on straight when dealing with others on the field of play. Anger only causes resentment and when kid sense that anger they often lose their desire to play.
It's no wonder we lose so many good athletes so young.