The Coach and His Boys
I've written extensively on the impact football has had on my family. Each one of us has had a different experience, Steel as a player, Sierra as a cheerleader and Leroy as a coach. For him the good still outweighs the bad and he enjoys coaching the sport he loves so much. Don't get me wrong... we love football, but there is an ugly side too... and without meaning any disrespect... it comes from the parents. Every parent in the world wants 11 players on the field... the 10 best players and their kid. I get this. I've been there. But what I fail to understand is the blatant disrespect that some parents will demonstrate to prove their point. Unfortunately, it has become more of a problem in recent years. Just like other areas of our society, children are not required to take responsibility for their actions. Parents will blame anyone or anything other than their kid for bad behavior. It's the coaches' (teacher's, administrator's, boss', friend's, law enforcement's... etc.) fault. They are not doing their children (or society) any favors and the worst part is that they don't get all of the benefits of participating in a team sport when they harbor that kind of attitude. I have to admit that sometimes, I am embarrassed by the parents screaming from the stands during a game. I am humiliated by how stupid they sound and how their actions reflect on the program. Leroy says he can't hear them because he is focused on the game, but unfortunately I hear every word. I don't burden Leroy with any of this for my fear is that it will discourage him as well and keep him from coaching. But I have to admit it will keep me from the game I've grown to love. Bad parents are ruining football for me. That's a sad and hard thing to admit. In the meantime... I'm going to treasure moments like this. The initial adrenaline rush the first time Leroy's team takes the field at the beginning of a new season. The pride I feel when he leads his coaches and boys in a hard-fought victory. For me the good still out weighs bad parents. I'm just going to have to learn some new coping skills.