Note: This post is part of Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs, where all the cool kids are hanging out. (Moms are welcome over there!) Welcome to my visitors from DB; thanks for stopping in!
Our family has spent the last six weeks in the thick of lacrosse season. It’s been very, very busy, but glorious.
I love lacrosse. I absolutely adore going to the games (sorry, Weaselmomma), each and every one. I have even gotten a sub to teach two of my beloved Wednesday spin classes so I can get to a game. I like to scream from the sidelines, and I root for everyone on our team. Everyone. Of course, it helps that, this year, I’m the lacrosse club secretary: I think I learned everyone’s name-by-number (on their jersey) pretty quickly because I’ve typed up lists a few times!
The cameraderie on the sidelines is really cool. Seeing the same parents there, game after game, and getting to know them is a benefit of being involved in the sport your kid plays.
Mostly, everyone is very positive-sounding when we’re all doing our rah-rah-ing. Here’s some video so you can see and hear what it’s like when our team sets it up and then scores. (Excuse the video quality; I took it on my regular digital camera.)
Unfortunately, not everyone is so positive all the time. I’m not saying that all talk should be of rainbows and puppies. I’m not talking about when the other team scores or a player doesn’t make a catch and the parents say, “Aww, what happened?” I think that’s a natural reaction. I’m talking about when the comments get personal.
There is one parent on our team who made me insanely angry during our tournament last Sunday. (A little background: his son is one of the better players on the JV team, and he’s a freshman. I have no doubt that he will play Varsity next year.) This Dad says negative things about other players to his wife and anyone who is within ten feet of him can hear these comments.
Here are only two examples of what he said about MY kid during the tournament:
“Let’s see if he can clear it this time.” (Clearing is when someone throws the ball down towards the other end of the field. My son has good days and not-so-good days with this skill: just like any person has good and not-so-good days with anything)
“Aw, come on goalie! Man, WHAT IS HE DOING??? He is falling apart. Just falling apart.”
There was more, about my son and others, but you get the point. What I don’t understand is why he (or anyone) would be so thoughtless as to sit there and criticize other people’s kids, while saying things under his breath like “Get the ball to *insert his son’s name here*; just get it to him and he’ll score!” He didn’t know at the time that Jim and I, sitting near him, were the parents of the goalie he was loudly criticizing, but it doesn’t matter. You never know who you’re sitting near, right? (and this applies in any situation, not just sports!) I think the best thing is to say nice things or nothing at all. Team sports are called that for a reason. No one player is responsible for a win or a loss. Everyone has good days and everyone has bad days.
I was one more comment away from saying to him, “Until your kid plays a perfect game, please keep your comments about mine to yourself.” And then, of course, the game was over. I think, though, had we said something, we would have gotten the eyeroll and an apology that sounded sincere but really wasn’t, and he’d continue this behavior anyway. During the next game, Jim and I just didn’t sit by him. We enjoyed that game a lot more.
Do any of you have any experience dealing with parents like this? ARE any of you–or have you been–parents like this? (shed some light on the thought process, please!)