My sister has two kids (10 and 13), both of whom are very athletic, and their family truly enjoys participating in and watching youth sports. We like to swap stories about our kids, and inevitably many of them are about something crazy that has happened in sports. Here is the latest…
“Last night at Hailey’s basketball game, we were playing a team we’ve beaten 3 times before, and this time they were out for blood. Never mind the obnoxious lady coach teaching her kids to throw elbows and “get ’em!” but there was something even better. I loved the Dad and his teenage son, sitting right under the basket, who decided that in the second half they would wave their arms and yell and laugh while our girl was shooting a free throw. They did this twice, and then a dad from the same team went over to tell them to stop. They didn’t! It was hysterical and SAD. After the game one of our very shy moms confronted him. She told him “Good game, your girls deserved to win” and then went on to tell him how inappropriate his behavior was. You could see he was clearly shocked at this confrontation, but sadly he told her “your team has beaten our team 3 times, and we wanted to win.” These girls are third and fourth graders!”
Here are my thoughts on this scene:
A. It doesn’t shock me, although it is fairly rare to see someone THAT immature and moronic in the stands of youth sports.
B. I am so proud of the two parents who confronted him about his terrible behavior. We need more of them.
C. The referees, or the tournament director, should have stopped the game to confront him and thrown him out of the gym if he refused to stop.
D. I feel sorry for the man’s kids.
E. Like my mom said about my own baseball coach who used to lose his mind on occasions, “Kids can learn from bad examples as well as good ones, if parents talk about these things with their kids.”
In the grand scheme of things, we need to remember that youth sports is a series of kids games with referees and coaches to keep things moving along well. It’s a game. And sometimes it takes a jerk in the stands to remind us of that.