Monday, June 8, 2015
10 Reasons you should not be able to influence Kids in Sports
If David Letterman followed youth sports, especially softball, he would have made a lasting impact on those who watched his popular late-night show. He would have exposed those parents who really should not have any influence with today’s youth, but unfortunately for society those same parents are producing future little monsters who will replicate their teachings.
Ultimately, youth sports is a time for families to get together and enjoy watching their kids develop socially and athletically. Youth sports prepares kids for challenges that they will face later in life such as success and disappointment alike. In life, there are winners and losers. In life, there are decisions that are unfair. In life, there are errors that are made that can affect you positively or negatively and change the outcome of your day. However, it is the kids’ reaction to the situation that determines what type of person they really are and will become. Unfortunately, not all kids have a positive role model at home and this blog is meant to shed some light on those individuals.
Personally, I have coached basketball, football, baseball and softball. I have had the pleasure of watching both of my kids play sports in the city leagues to select travel teams. Although I love watching my kids compete in youth sports; I have found it just as entertaining to see parents overreact to what is supposed to be “just a game.”
Most of these will be softball references because that is the sport I am coaching now and am getting a lot of material as my daughter’s team travels around the country. However, I have seen this with all of the youth sports I have been involved in.
Now for the “10 Reasons you should not be able to influence Kids in Sports”…
1. If you have ever yelled at a ref, ump or official “call it both ways ump” during a game after the third inning with both of the teams having scored over 3 runs each you should not be able to influence kids in sports. Honestly, I don’t think the official has a game plan to call a lopsided game and really cares which team wins or loses. Besides, by saying this after 45 minutes or more of playing; you are probably upset about one particular call. Plus, the official is “calling it both ways”. The call is just not always going the way you want it.
2. If you have ever said, “the coach lost us the game” than you should not be able to influence kids in sports. The fact of the matter is; coaches do make mistakes. However, unless all of the kids are batting a .1000 and the pitcher is pitching a no-hitter; it is almost impossible for the coach to lose the game. In addition, if you don’t like that bad decision the coach made which probably made you utter that nonsense; you should try your hand at coaching. (Better yet, don’t because I will probably write something else that describes you, and remember; you shouldn’t be allowed to influence kids in sports.)
3. If you have ever stated your youth sports team is the best in the country, then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. I understand being a proud parent and applaud those parents who are happy for their kid’s team. However, unless you have played every team in all 50 states; can you really judge this? Let’s take this a step further. If you are not talking about a collegiate team or even a high school team; does anyone really care if you are the best 8u, 10u, or 12u team in the country? Many players haven’t even started playing competitive sports at 8, 9, or even 10 years old! Just to be clear, I don’t think ESPN will be calling you anytime soon for your analysis on youth sports.
4. If you have ever made a statement that a certain youth player is the best in the country, then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. This is a fine line. There are good players in youth sports. However, to tout a kid at 9, 10, 11 or 12 years old as the best in the country is taking it overboard don’t you think? Again, look at point 3 and don’t quit your day job.
5. If you have ever told your kid to play “dirty” just to win then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. If this described you, you are pathetic.
6. If you have ever belittled another player on another team you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t actually be allowed to be a parent. You are a bully and a complete joke as a person.
7. If you are talking about your kid going pro or even getting a college scholarship and they have not hit their 16th birthday yet you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. There are some kids who we have all assumed will become the next “great one”; however, I have never heard of a kid signing a binding commitment to college or professional team at 10, 11 or 12 years old.
8. If you allow your kid to jump from team to team in order to win games then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. I understand making the switch to stronger coaching, financial reasons or even a better fit. However, I can assure you most of us do not care how many trophies you have in your house because your daughters’ team has won the last several tournaments. You need to call your parents right now and ask for that hug because they probably do love you.
9. If you have ever started a social forum to talk about youth sports with the intention of taunting or belittling other teams or players, or just to tout what teams are the best at the young age of 9, 10, or 11, then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. These kids are still developing and many will drop select sports within the next few years. I hate to tell you, there is more to life and nobody really cares.
10. If you have spent more than 10 minutes on a youth sports forum and participated in discussions about who is the best, then you should not be allowed to influence kids in youth sports. You are just as bad as the person who started the site, and obviously struggle with seeing the bigger picture or the positive purpose of competitive youth sports.
These are just ten things I have seen in the past couple of weeks. There are many more things parents do that ruin youth sports and ultimately ruin the development of their children. Remember, your kids are still kids. Sports is a privilege to play, and many kids do not have that opportunity. Be thankful, your kid has the talent and health to play sports. Continue to encourage them and teach them how to handle both positive and negative situations. Let them believe they are the best when they do their best. Don't define them or their success by their wins or losses.
Luckily, for our kids’ futures, most parents do not fall into these categories. However, those that do, provides funny material for blogs like this.