Friday, January 13, 2012

Boosters in Training

Can't stop ruminating about parents and sports.  This week my son had three basketball games at three very different private schools. Two were away games, one home. The first game was at our school's biggest "rival."  Very apprehensive about going and incredibly difficult because a really close friend is on the other side.  It's always tough, but this year the stands were less crowded and the intensity had definitely decreased from past rooter years.  The second game was at an all boys school.  Been in existence since the 1800's and their court looks like it.  For a rich private school, the court is crowded, small and short.  We are sitting up against the wall with our toes touching the line. There was a father and a young woman who spent the game screaming at the refs and the players.  It was shocking.  Their attitude was not the attitude you would want the children to model.  The coach of the opposing team was not much better and the ref had to speak to him. I can't believe that the refs took so much verbal abuse from the "stands" and the coach without calling a technical.  I would've called them out every time.  It was a brutal game.  Reminded me of the Pistons with Laimbeer.  Very physical.  For God's sake, it's JV.  No matter what happened during the game, these particularly boisterous spectators thought it was wrong. They were "victimized" at home.  This school has a history of bad sportsmanship.  It's astonishing to me.  It's no wonder that kids grow up to be just as horrible.  "Masters of the Universe."  By the way, we won! Yesterday, we played the 3rd and final game of the week. It was on our court against a Jewish day school.  It was a very close game the entire time.  We were ahead most of it and then in the end, they pulled it out in the last seconds.  At the end of the game, unlike anything that I have experienced in student sports, the parents of the other team all said lovely things on the way out.  It was as gracious as any loss could be.  

Kids sports for parents are complicated.  I am still maneuvering the waters.  A win is easy.  It's the losses that make it more difficult.  I mean, clearly, we know there's nothing to say at the end of a loss.  The kids know they lost.  It's like telling someone they're overweight.  They know.  So what's to say? I am still searching for the balance.  Showing the love and compassion without being patronizing or trite.  It is a delicate balance.  Sometimes, silence seems to be the best thing.  Any one who knows me, knows that's against my natural grain.   I am sure many of you have swam these waters before me.  Any thoughts?  Feelings? Still a month to go this season.

Sidebars:  How crappy it must feel to be Mitt Romney. Even when you win, the people don't want you.  I have never seen such a lackluster feeling for a frontrunner.  The "party" keeps looking under other rocks to see if anyone else could possibly run and beat Obama.  Bill Maher returns tonight to satirize current events and politics.  AND Sunday, Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globes.  If you want to get all the jokes for the upcoming year, don't miss it.  The insults both fly relentlessly and are funny.  It's as if he is watching at home without censorship and we are listening.  Take a moment to think about why Monday is a holiday.  Happy weekend!

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  1. Great comparison: Talking to a kid after they lost is like telling them they're overweight. Another gem. I'm going to start stealing your lines.

  2. I think that a lot of the time the losses are harder on the parents than they are the kids. At least that has been my experience with 3 boys playing various sports over many years and being dealt many, many losses. It is so funny - in the moment it's hard to see. But in retrospect, its clear as day. The kids (in my experiences) shake off the losses faster and better than their often overly-invested (and I've surely been guilty of this) parents. Not sure if any of that applies here but just a thought that took me YEARS to actually realize and formulate in a concise way. Course by the time I figured it out, it was all in the past- haha.