Birdie was our athlete while she was growing up. She played soccer for 8 years. We were exposed to every level from the beginning rec to the top elite and let me tell you, the higher you went the worse the parents were. It was sickening. But it was even worse with the boys' teams. By the time some friends' sons reached the high school level, I witnessed some of the rudest, dumbest, most violent behavior ON THE PART OF THE PARENTS than I had ever seen in my life. Holy crap on a cracker.
I saw parents punch coaches. I saw parents cuss out one another and come to blows right on the field in front of God and everybody because of two kids having a scuffle on the field. The adult embarrassment occurred AFTER the boys had shaken hands and moved on. One of Birdie's coaches didn't like the way a game was going so he walked away from the game, sat on a log and pouted. Like a two year old.
What a bunch of morons.
My friends proceeded to tell me that I hadn't seen anything. And then, they told me stories. I won't share these stories because I'm sure there are some of you out there who have witnessed similar, if not worse, scenes.
Some of y'all might have heard me talk about my competitive spirit. Yes, I've got one. And it's rather large. But it's FAIR and HONEST. I never want to win by cheating. I like honest, fair play winning. These parents don't. They want their kid to stand out and be the best of the best. The cream of the crop. But, the only thing standing out is the apparent idiocy of their parents.
The author of the article I read on The Boston Globe's site writes: "I can say unequivocally that adult expectations are the number one problem." I concur.
I've witnessed it firsthand and I've heard the stories. And I believe, without a doubt, that it is the parents who are ruining sports for their kids.
Ok, sound off! Let's hear what y'all are thinking on this one.