Parents are the worst part of youth sports!
Ask any coach, official, organizer, and this mom and we will tell you without hesitation that parents every season take the joy right out it. One of my kids is naturally athletic and always has been. He’s built like a tank and of all the things in life, the one thing that he seems to understand very well is winning and being the best on the field. Football is life for this kid.
Now let me just say, when you are a mother of boys and as sensitive to other people as I am, you do your damnedest to raise them to be kind and gentle. Our sports motto is ‘knock’em down, pick’em up’ and you will hear me scream it from the sidelines any given Saturday. Yet it never fails, every season there’s at least one parent, one coach, one somebody who likes to take my kindness for weakness and test the mamma bear with in me and see how protective she will be.
One season it was a mom on our own team who insisted that my child shouldn’t be allowed to play because he was “too aggressive”. She made this claim as my kid ran for a touchdown and a kid from the other team fell behind him and busted his lip on the back of his shoe. No, it wasn’t good enough that my kid went back after scoring the touchdown when he realized someone was hurt, not knowing he was even involved, to make sure he was okay. Admittedly I did not hold my tongue well this day and screamed expletives about not putting female reproductive parts on the field to play a competitive sport and that we shouldn’t allow male reproductive parts on the sidelines to provide the inaccurate play by play. Not my finest moment of adulating.
We took the next season off, mamma needed a break. So we’re back and in full swing of football season and now it’s a coach of another team. This guy is one of those dads that coaches his kid in every recreational sport and is super competitive, so to say we’ve seen him around is an understatement. Fast forward to a few weekends ago and we are playing his team. Our team has possession, we make a play for the extra point and my kid and one of their kids collide. One referee calls it good, the other throws a flag, and the coach goes wild. He screams and yells from the sideline as the referees approach one another, and the coach tells them that they cannot consult one another about the play. I begin to wonder if this guy has ever watched football. The referees yell back at him and declare that the play is good. Mamma bear’s antennas have been activated.
Later in the same game a kid on their team has the ball and starts to run up the field, my kid goes on the attack, the other kid crouches as he approaches, my kid goes low to grab his flag, they collide, the flag is pulled and both kids roll to the ground. My kid springs to his feet, the other kids flops around on the ground and the other coach runs on to the field and is now screaming about “that kid”. The officials have already deemed the play good, explained that the kids had a run in, this happens in football, but the coach is now having what can only be compared to a toddler temper tantrum in the middle of the field. As he scooped up what I found out later was his son, he continued to scream that something needed to be done about “that kid” because it’s “always that kid and now other kids are getting hurt”.
We won the game and ran out on to the field to hug and congratulate our star player, “that kid” and exchanged glares with the other coach to make sure he knew the mamma bear “that kid” belongs to. The next week at practice our coach advised that he’d heard the other coach was going to write a letter to complain about “that kid”. So I’m writing one too….
Dear Youth Sports Recreation Department,
That Kid, My Kid…..IS A BEAST!