As usually when I attend our youngest daughter’s soccer games I am typically as interested in what is going on off the field as well as on the field. Most of the time I am paying very close attention to her coach and his coaching style. Seldom do I pay close attention to the opposing coach unless he displays some amount of anger. Almost always I am keyed into the parents on the sidelines.
Last weekend while watching and listening a player from the opposing team came onto the field and was lining up for kick I heard a father coaching from behind me. The father instructed the player, “don’t listen to him, never mind what he’s saying, just work hard and do your thing.”
At this the young girl who was looking directly at her father shook her head no and began to cry. Obviously there was much more to the exchange than I will ever know. However based on the reaction from the player it was definitely a touchy and difficult topic.
Here’s my issue. I know that sometimes we as well meaning parents do things unwittingly that hurt our kids. I know that sometimes instruction from parents is unwanted from children. Also, most of the times it’s better to let the coach be the coach. What’s the point of creating tension between a parent and child, between a parent and coach, or between a parent and a coach over 10 year olds playing soccer?
Is it really that important that we as parents feel that we have to become so invested in young children playing a game? It’s time for parents to re-evaluate their priorities. Weekend after weekend I am witnessing hurtful behavior from parents. What are the long-term results of these behaviors?