life on the soccer pitch, lets remember why we're there

who are the children here?

      I admit, I am a bit of a soccer mom.  I love spending time on the "pitch" as it is actually called although most people call it a field.  My soccer player are 11 and 7 years of age.  Therefore, going to see them play should be a fun, relaxing experience.  Hmmm...

     My daughter's first game of this season involved an assistant coach, (from the other team, yaay, not our coach) yelling and screaming in the faces of 6 and 7 year old girls that they simply do not listen and obviously do not want to be on the field.  What? Aren't they little girls?  They certainly want to be out in the sunshine playing with their friends.  Learning a sport, that is a bonus at their age.  When he picked up a ball and slammed on the field almost hitting two of his player, our program director stood up and walked behind him.  He stood behind this man the rest of the game as a warning.  That evening our director reported the behavior to their school director.

     Was this necessary?  Seriously?  Why should a children's game involve school program directors controlling the coaches so they do not hurt the children.  How about those girls who went home and looked in the mirror and thought, coach thinks I am a bad player, he kept yelling at me, I am useless, I am no good.  Don't children, especially girls have enough self esteem issues these days?  What frightens me the most is that the parents of the children on this team were not outraged.  They thought this was appropriate behavior.  At 6 years old.  Competition is important, listening, behaving and performing well is also important, but there are ways to communicate to children which allows them to grow, learn and be successful without crushing their pride and spirit.

     Last season, our director had to pull several parents(again not our team...yaay!) off of a fifteen year old referree because they did not like they way she called the game.  Guess how old the team was that was playing.  It was a kindergarten game.  5 year old children watched their parents attack a teenager.  How's that for sportsmanship?  Just who are the children here?

     Parents must remember the true reason we sign our children up for sports.  To teach them to work cooperately with others.  If they learn about a sport and their team actually becomes good enough to win, hooray, that is an awesome bonus.  But truly, it is about learning to get along with other human beings so they can grow and become productive members of society.  Sports is a fun, healthy way to achieve this.  Lets remember that parents and keep it that way please!

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