Good Sportsmanship in the Bleachers. Be a good Spectator
Last Wednesday was Amber’s first volleyball game! We were all very excited since this is the first time she has played an organized sport. She is currently 12 years old and has been slightly sheltered her whole life. She didn’t get to play outside and run wild with the neighborhood children much because I just don’t trust strangers. But I suppose that is a topic for another discussion. This situation was new to all of us. My husband played sports so he understands her anxiety but he has yet to be a spectator…
I just wanted to take this time to share our first experience as a spectator in a children’s sporting event. I have seen, as I’m sure you have too, a few reports on the news and YouTube videos about parents getting into physical altercations at their child’s game. I always wondered what could possess someone to act in such a manner especially in a crowd full of children. After hearing comments behind me about another persons child, I guess I could see where something like that would start. Now, I am not saying that any violent actions would be justified by any means. My point is that I know how some hot-headed individuals could be fueled by these comments.
As we watched the game there were many calls out to children telling them to “get it, get it” or “good try” which is to be expected. Then, the next level were the comments like “move up” or “hit it harder”. These comments are ones that I feel should be left to the coaches. And to be honest, do you really think the kids can hear you? And, if they can, so can the other team! But the ones that bothered me the most were from the
gentleman jerk directly behind us. We will call him “Super Dud”. Every time one of the girls made a mistake he was all over it! I can also say that we weren’t the only ones bothered by him.
One of the girls went for a ball that would have been out-of-bounds. Had she let it go our team would have scored a point. Super Dud said quite loudly “Why did she go for it”. The person with him responded quietly enough for me not to understand what she said. Then I heard him say “stupid kid”. All I could think of was what if that girls parents are sitting nearby? Did he not think of that possibility? And what if that were Amber? I don’t know if or how I would have reacted! I am pregnant after all, this makes me extra cautious but it also makes me go into “mama bear mode”. Gladly, I didn’t have to make that decision, this time. But it did give me some time to think about what I would do or say if the situation did arise.
I am not a confrontational person at all! I try at all costs to avoid it. Situations like this make me very uncomfortable. Not only that but having to hear his nonsense took my attention away from what is important. I was there to support a team. I was there to cheer on my daughter. I will leave the coaching to the coaches and playing to the players. Bottom line, If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all! If you have something positive to say, feel free to shout! I won’t let someone else’s negativity ruin my fun (or my family’s). If I find myself distracted by someones off-putting comments, I will move to another seat!
I hope you have gotten something from my little story. I would love to hear your experiences in the matter. Please feel free to use this as a writing prompt for your blog. Just make sure to leave me a link so I can read it too! (and it would also be nice to let your readers know that this post inspired yours)