It started innocently enough. My husband and I signed our son up for soccer at the age of three. Our son was a one of those natural athletes. He scored six goals in one game once. He was the kid that the coach put in to get the lead, then he would be stuck in goalie the rest of the game.
At first, we were a little embarrassed at how good he was. We would watch in shock as he would steal the ball and dribble it down field without a soul in sight and score with ease. We fell in love with this new phenomenon of hearing all the parents cheering for our kid. Then we were hooked.
He has since played every sport and every sport he has excelled. The downfall to this talent is competitive parents. We started him in sports as something for him to have fun never realizing his perfectionist nature would naturally make him ultra-competitive. I also never realized how competitive I would become in the process.
It was mid-way through last soccer season when I realized how bad I had become. I lost my voice because of a cold. It was that scary realization sitting at the game that I realized I had been that loud coaching parent from the side line.
Parent after parent came up to me that day asking what was wrong-why I was letting refs, the coach (who was my husband), my son, etc. get away with what they were doing. I am ashamed to say how many times during a game I would call my husband to complain about coaching, refs, our son’s attitude, etc. on his cell phone while he was coaching.
We are now in baseball and I realize steps need to be taken to remedy the situation. When you start out wanting the best for your son, it is easy to cross the line to wanting him to be the best. That is where I was and I was destroying our relationship.
When I approached my son about my attitude his response was that I could yell at the game as long as it was “Good job!” I am a work in progress.
We are now in baseball and I find myself trying to be a “junior coach”, much like I once heard a pastors wife mention that she was her husband’s “junior Holy Spirit.” That is me guilty as charged. I find myself offering advice and hearing the other coaches ask who the coach is, but I honestly feel I have no control of my attitude at times.
For instance, our last baseball game I had made a resolution that I would not do any coaching. I mentioned to the score keeper to not let me get up out of the stands or use the cell phone. Of course, the other team’s coach is a jerk the entire game.
One of our kids, who has struggled this season, finally gets a hit and ends up with a double. Because of a mistake by our team mom, they call the kid out. She had placed their sitting order wrong switching two of the players.
I can’t tell you how livid I became. It is crazy that a game makes a mom go that insane. It is seven year olds and here I am arguing because it wasn’t the players fault but he had to pay the price and get called out. It wasn’t even my kid. I had lost control from that point on in the game-there was no coming back.
I remember as a kid never wanting a parent like I am. One of those loud parents that are always complaining at the coach or husband in my case, the ump or the other team’s coach, but here I am-caught up in the emotion.
So here is the point of the article. I am resolving to not be that parent anymore. If you are this parent as well, know that you are not alone, but realize the effect you are having on your child. I always preach to my son that winning is not important, but in the stands I do not always act that way.
It is time as parents that we take the next step and be a model. Stop yelling and trying to coach. Instead be encouraging and supportive. I have two more regular season games left and I am praying that it will be the end to the “crazy mom in the stands woman