Why I am a Horrible Sports Parent
I mean, I like to play sports and I enjoy a good adventure, but there is just something about youth sports that I don’t really understand.
I don’t dress the part with team shirts or sweatshirts, but I’m grateful to my husband and other parents who do. Because of their team spirit, I know which side to sit on for our games. My sportswear amounts to a winter jacket and fleece lined pants in July. (Hey, I live in Wyoming where snow and wind is always a distinct possibility)
And, my cheering is lackluster at best. Lucky for me, my son has imposed a moratorium on cheering in public, so I don’t have to channel my inner (and non-existent) cheerleader. If truth were told, I silently cheer for whoever is doing something at the moment. Are you batting? I hope you hit it. Is the ball headed your way? I hope you catch it. Are you running to the base? I hope you make it.
I basically cheer for everyone.
“Mom is so Canadian!” my son has said about my cheering habits.
I also feel a bit sorry for the coaches. They get frustrated, yell, wring their hats and basically hurl the most obvious advice - like “catch the ball!” - to a team of unaffected, aloof kids. I get it. That’s what parenting looks like too – a lot of yelling at a clueless teenager who bobs his head in feigned interest. That is definitely not my idea of a good time, so thank goodness someone is willing to do it!
In our family, my husband is willing to be the sports parent. He spends hours practicing with our baseball-loving son, chauffeuring, volunteering, cheering (overtly against aforementioned moratorium), and basically making sure everyone is where they need to be.
He is a trooper.
He is the BEST DAD EVER!
And he is stuck with a flake like me who basically enjoys baseball so I can sit in the sun (when it shows up) and occasionally indulge in a ballpark frank. When we attend MLB games, I get excited for the seventh inning stretch because there is singing... and potentially seat dancing.
That’s usually when dad and son, in horrified solidarity, run to the concession stands.
But as each game comes and goes and I watch my baby-turned-teenager learn a little more about life, deep thoughts are not far from my mind.
Ignore the chatter – Coaches yell, parents yak and other players chide. Ignore it…unless what you hear is helpful. Then, listen and do better.
Be careful what you say – You never know who is listening. Parents and coaches have made hurtful comments while sitting near me without knowing it. Always be vigilant and impeccable with your words – no matter which way the wind is blowing.
The ball doesn’t always bounce your way – The ball (and life) will surprise you more than once. Your job is to be ready and do the best you can. If you miss a catch, then it wasn’t meant for you. The same can be said of opportunities. When one passes, know you will get another chance – even if you think you should have had the last one.
When a fastball is headed your way…DUCK! – I know, I know. The team motto is “wear it”. It’s a badge of honor to stand in the batter’s box and take an errant pitch when your body’s instinct is to get out of the way. Trust me though, the only time to take one for the team is during war or a home invasion. Don’t ever ignore your instincts.
They are there for a reason.
Swing at anything close – Don’t be afraid to swing. Without swinging, you might safely get walked to first base, but is that why you play? Swing at something close and make it a game. You may even surprise yourself. You’ll probably get further with a greater feeling of accomplishment.
Control your emotions – As evidenced by cheering parents and passionate coaches, we are all still learning this. As much as you can, don’t spread around your discontent. It’s unbecoming.
Forgive yourself and others – It’s not always easy when we make mistakes, but we all do it. Too, we all deserve a second chance, so be kind to your teammates and, especially, to yourself.
You are not the measure of your score or stats – No number can define you. Not your game score or your batting average. These numbers are not the sum of your character. Remember that.
If someone gets hurt, stop and take a knee – It means you have compassion.
Someone is always cheering for you – They may be quiet or you might not see them, but someone is always on your side.
Run home – That is where the things that really matter exist. Here, at home, you are safe.
And hot dogs.
Never give up the opportunity to enjoy a hotdog.
Peace & Light,
The Busy Buddha
RECIPE: CALIFORNIA HOT DOG
FIND RECIPE HERE!