Friday, April 30, 2010

Agreed Part 2

An addendum, this from my friend Lisa. Nice to see it from both sides!

Dear childrens' sports people:

I am happy to be the best sports parent possible. I am excited to watch my child and want to help out as best I can. It is so wonderful to see my children learn a new skill and grow and I am so grateful there are people like you who are so dedicated and willing to make such a difference in my child's life. Having said that, please consider:

My child's sporting activity is not the only thing in his/her/our family's life. We have other children with other activities and we, our child's parent, actually have jobs and lives of our own. This may be difficult to process, but our child even attends school for many hours a day, which requires that he/she get to bed at a decent hour and may even have homework. Please try to avoid giving us less than 24 hours notice when there is a practice, game or scrimmage, or when our child needs a certain item like very specific socks that can only be purchased during the hours of 6 and 7 on the third Tuesday of the week with the new moon.

My child may not actually know how to play the sport you are coaching him/her in. He may come from a family of nerdy book-readers who neglected to play catch, shoot hoops, or kick balls with him/her from the day that he/she was born. He may never even watch sports on TV because his father is too busy watching Turner Classic Movies. Please remember, you are his/her only hope to feel successful in team athletics. His parents probably feel horrible that they have set him/her up to be outcasts, but that is why he/she is on the team in the first place. Please do not ignore him or her or decide from the beginning that he/she is not worth your investment. He/she is a sweet child and if you give him/her a chance, he/she may actually find his/her inner aggressiveness and kick some serious butt.

I would love to help out as a volunteer. Please don't make me coach. I tried that once and all the other parents yelled at me and made fun of my shoes. I tried to sell popcorn too, but the person doing the scheduling kept calling me at the last minute. (See first item.) I know you are super busy too, and you are also a volunteer, but I am just wondering if perhaps you would consider something like a calendar. You could figure out ahead of time when all the games are then let people sign up for different shifts. You could even put it online. Just a thought.

Finally, I promise not to abuse the authorities. I am so embarrassed when other parents mistreat refs and coaches. I just want to cheer our child and his/her team-mates. I don't even care who wins, as long as everyone has fun. Thanks for remembering that not all parents are rude, lazy, and unappreciative.

A nerdy Mom who quit t-ball halfway through the season and has never been comfortable with team sports but wants her kids to be.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


This special post comes from my brother in law, a dedicated parent and long-suffering official in a number of kids' athletics. He has generously assembled the following.

Any parent who enrolls his/her child in any kind of organized competitive activity must read, understand and sign off on the following document.

I,__________________ have read and understand and will adhere to the following. Failure to comply with any of the notations listed below will result in my immediate banishment from all my child’s activities/sports for a minimum of one year.

1.I will willingly volunteer to actively participate in any manner to help promote the love, comprehension and appreciation of the activities to which I have enrolled my child, no matter how crappy, demeaning or beneath me I consider the assignment.

a.This will include but not be limited to; fundraiser, assistant coach, time keeper, statistician, car pool organizer, game day site person, uniform washer, water boy, skate or shoe tying, tournament check-in person, phone list organizer, nose blowing/wiping, first aid kit holder, crowd control.

b.Under no circumstances will I ever carry my child’s equipment bag. I will not check to see that the bag is packed properly, all uniforms are pulled out for cleaning, that equipment is hung out for drying, that clean socks and under garments are packed appropriately for the activity. The only exception is if my child becomes injured and requires removal from the game for medical treatment.

c.I will bring my child to any practice or competition at the prescribed time with all of the required accessories. I will actually stop the car when I drop the child off. If I leave the area, I will ensure that a working contact number is left with a responsible adult who can find me. When the activity is over, I will be waiting for my child. Each additional minute another adult has to wait for you to get your sorry ass back to pick up your abandoned child, again, will cost you $10. This is not free day care. Bring your overpriced latte-shmatte to the game.

d.If the activity involves physical exertion, I will not drop him/her at the door so that he/she can then run around the rink/gym/center for 20 minutes screwing around with his/her friends when they are supposed to be getting ready. Park as far from the door as the site will allow.

e.There are 4 clearly defined roles for any activity; participant, spectator, official, coach. YOU GET TO BE ONLY ONE!!!! Deviation from your assigned role will result in your immediate expulsion from the event with a yearlong ban starting immediately.

2.If there is a nationally recognized body overseeing this activity and there are rules governing activity, I will contact the organization or local affiliate to obtain a copy of the rules.

a.I will read and study these rules. I will also enroll and pass the minimum official certification requirements for the activity/sport. You will be surprised what you don’t know.

b.I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER shout any of the following at the officials ever again. It confirms you are an ignorant blow hard.
i.Let ‘em play
ii.There are two teams out there
iii.That’s brutal
iv.Get in the game, Ref

3.Coaches will be treated with the respect earned by someone who has to put up with your untalented, snotty kid as well as your insistent ranting that he/she is guaranteed to be in The Show. Coaches: These people are almost universally unpaid volunteers because 99.9% of parents don’t follow 1. and 1.a above.

a.Coaches will coach, officials will officiate, and players will play. ‘Nuff said.

b.Coaches will attend and pass all required certifications. They will also enroll and pass the most extensive official testing requirements offered by the national governing body. Learn the damn rules!!!

c.Screaming at the official over any call or non-call will NEVER reverse it. They don’t care who wins. It only proves you are not living the code of sportsmanship which is supposed to be the foundation of any activity. Besides, you look like a jack ass while you are doing it.

d.I will express my dissatisfaction over a penalty call in a controlled adult manner. Doesn’t matter that Ray Charles could have seen the call better than the official.

e.I will remain in control of my emotions and actions as well as my staff and players. If I am out of control, they will be as well.

4.I accept the fact that my child will never be a professional athlete in any manner. This is an activity which will reveal and build character in a positive fashion.

5.The farther they advance within the ranks of the activity does not validate the job I have done as a parent. They may become a professional but you still stunk as a parent.

6.I will leave behind my “glory days”. This isn’t about me. I have had my time.