GOOD SPORTS

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All my kids play sport and so I find myself exposed to the full gamut of ‘sporting parents’. There seem to be three kinds of parents: the supportive ones, the absent ones and the over the top ones.

The majority of the parents are supportive, but I must admit, I find the over the top parents worse than the absent ones!

Most kids play sport just to have fun, unfortunately the same can’t be said for all of the parents.

In the last few weeks I have witnessed parents yelling at their kids, at the refs, the team officials and the opposition. These parents seem hell bent on their kids winning at all costs, which leaves me wondering what message they want to send to their kids.

The parents become so competitive that they lose sight of the fact that their kids are there for exercise, friendship, teamwork and above all fun. It seems these parents project their expectations on their kids, living vicariously through them, rather than supporting them.

In my opinion, these parents would be better to take time to coach their children and give them skills, rather than turn up at games to yell at them. They could donate their time to ref games, rather than yell abuse at the umpires or they could work out a roster they think is fair for the playing time of each child, rather than harass the manager. 

Sport should provide a healthy, safe and happy environment for kids to play with their friends. There is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to win, but at the end of the day it is just a game! Being a good sport is better than being good at sport!

 

 

(Picture courtesy of topstep07, freedigitialphotos.net)

MANAGING CHAOS

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I, like many of you out there, manage a few of my kids sporting teams. It’s funny how a room goes silent when there is the question put out as to who would like to nominate themselves for this role. I think in this world there are the doers and the whiners (have you ever noticed that the parents that whine the loudest about the way things are being done are the ones that don’t offer to do anything themselves?) The other thing that I’ve noticed is that once you put your hand up to help, you are then forever more stuck in that role. I naively thought the first time I offered to take on managing a team that it would be passed around to all the parents, but alas years on, I’m still in the same role.

I don’t mind the texting to co-ordinate everyone or dealing with the governing association for that sport – what I can’t stand is being in charge of subbing players on and off the field/court. No matter what I’ve done in the past, someone has complained that it’s not been fair to their child. I tried doing it alphabetically to make sure everyone had their turn but the mother of the little girl whose name was at the start of the list took offence to this method, so I changed to subbing the kids off in order of their jersey number, until one of the dads complained that it kept our two best players off at the same time. Add to that the grief from the child that just doesn’t want to come off the field. Some days I just feel like pulling my hair out!

So I was ecstatic this week when someone told me about a phone app that does all the hard work for you – all my wishes have come true! For all you parents who are coaches/managers do yourself a favour and download ‘FairCoach’ (I’m not paid to endorse this app – I am genuinely thrilled to have found it). It allows you to mark off which kids are present, set the format for the game (halves, quarters etc), set the time of the game and then it spits out which children are to come off at what exact time. It even allows you shuffle the players so it changes week by week – Hallelujah!

I used it for the first time last night at my son’s basketball and it was great – any time a kid moaned about it not being their turn, I could just say ‘the phone app says it is your turn’ and that shut them up. I love when technology makes your life easier in the most unexpected ways. Now if someone could just design an app that could drive the kids to their sport and wash their uniforms after, then life would be truly perfect!

 

 

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net)