You see it all the time. An ultra-emotional mom or dad that can’t understand why the ref is out to get her child. “How can every call be against us?” It’s not the reality of the situation. It’s not even close to reality. The reality is that it’s a game. The kids are playing and could be having fun but there are a few parents that take it too seriously and push the level of competition way out of context. Whether it’s recreational or competitive, any child on the field is still learning about the game… and about life.
The other players, coaches, officials and parents all make an example of how to handle tough situations. And your child is learning from that example. Should your child learn to blame others first? That’s what the angry mom or dad is doing when they shout from the sideline. Or, should your child learn to overcome a tough situation with their chin up and pushing harder to come back and win the game. Even if they don’t win it is awesome to see a group of young players pull together when they’re down a goal and bust their collective butts to try to get that goal back. Have you seen the end of a match when the team that wasn’t supposed to win made a really close game of it and the other team shakes their hand with a sincere ‘good game’? It gives hope and pride to the losing team. It’s incredible that a losing team can have pride as they walk off the field if they feel they’ve done a good job. No one to blame. No refs to shout at. No other coach teaching dirty play. Just a hard game that tested the resolve of your young player and that kid rose to meet the challenge.
I beg all the angry parents on the sideline to let their kids play. Let them surprise you with their ability to rise to a challenge. Get out of their way. Your job is to lift your child up… not knock the other team down. At the end of the game say three things:
I love you.
I enjoyed watching you play.
Where do you want to eat?
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