With the first cool breezes of fall come the sure knowledge of two things: one school is starting in a matter of days, and two school sports are all ready in full swing (no pun intended, ok, well maybe a little). While most of us enjoy school athletics, not all of us act according to our better selves. I mean with the referees and umpires all needing a good optometrist and the ball not always bouncing in favor of the most deserving team, who can blame us?
Dr. Darrell Burnett says our kids do. He has done research into the 10 things our student athletes say we should refrain from doing in order to be loyal fans, good role models and loving, supportive parents. His advice is great, so I am copying it verbatim in order that we all might be reminded of our better selves more of the time.
1. Don’t yell out instructions.
2. Don’t put down the officials.
3. Don’t yell at me in public.
4. Don’t yell at the coach.
5. Don’t put down my teammates.
6. Don’t put down the other team.
7. Don’t lose your cool.
8. Don’t lecture me about mistakes after the game.
9. Don’t forget to laugh and have fun.
10. Don’t forget that it is only a game.
I realize how difficult it is to sit on one’s hands or keep one’s mouth shut when the game is on the line or the home team is losing badly. However, most of these embarrassing behaviors are not just uncalled for, they are counterproductive as well. They can also be damaging to you and your child’s relationship in the long run; if nothing else they are a bad example of sportsmanship and can be particularly harmful if a college scout is also watching.Have fun this school year and enjoy watching our student athletes compete, but really giving the home plate ump the collapsible cane really wasn’t very funny. Ok, well maybe it was a little funny, but please don’t do it again.