Be on the kids' team - The Desert Trail: Editorials

Be on the kids' team

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Posted: Thursday, February 1, 2018 7:20 am

Most of us have seen it at a game at some point: a parent getting angry at a coach, upset that his or her child hasn’t gotten more floor time, or that the team isn’t winning, or isn’t winning the way that parent wants them to. It’s easy to see the parent’s perspective: When you love and believe in your children, you want the best for them. Of course parents can get emotional when advocating for their kids.

A lot of the time, the coach and the parent can work things out and move on.

There’s another scenario, though: one where the confrontation escalates. The yelling gets louder, the gestures more aggressive.

Now, with most people so easy to find on Facebook and other social media accounts, it’s the simplest thing in the world for a person who’s both angry and determined to keep up the harassment long past the game.

There’s a reason the Little League organization asks families to recite the Parents Pledge before each game: When emotions are high, some people have a hard time acting the way they should.

By the time young athletes are in high school, some parents see the stakes as even higher: If things go right, they figure, their son or daughter could be looking at a college scholarship. If the coach messes up, their dream could go up in smoke.

But let’s look at it from the coach’s perspective. Most coaches are either volunteers or are paid a small stipend for their services. In exchange, they hold tryouts and daily practices. They try to make sure their players aren’t struggling in school. 

If there’s no active booster club or involved parent groups, it falls to the coaches to hold all the car washes, spaghetti dinners and cake auctions needed to get all those kids uniformed, equipped and transported across Southern California. If there is a booster club, the coach still has to attend and oversee those events.

Then there’s the phone calls and meetings with parents, grandparents, former coaches, principles, alumni and businesspeople who feel a stake in the team.

In the end, coaches and parents are both on the same team — the kids’ team. In fact, all of us adults in a community should be on that same team.

If the people kids are supposed to admire most in the world — their parents and coaches — talk trash or use slurs or taunt people who mess up, what are kids supposed to learn from that?

It falls on all of us to be on those kids’ team, doing our best to make sure they have the skills and strategy to be not only good players, but good people.

© 2018 Hi-Desert Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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