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Good Sportsmanship in the Bleachers. Be a good Spectator

September 10, 2012

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)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2012 1:56 pm

    Unfortunately that happens, and its not healthy for the kids either, it can make them feel like they are not trying their hardest, and sometimes it is just a bad example. Thanks for sharing! Over my 20+ years as a Medic, I have been to a handful of scuffles between parents at sporting events…the looks on the kids faces were so painful.

  2. September 13, 2012 3:58 pm

    What a horrible experience for you and your daughter. I always have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when hearing people act this way, it’s rude and uncalled for

  3. September 13, 2012 10:15 pm

    I so agree with this I dislike how some parents and kids act when it comes to sports

  4. September 14, 2012 4:40 am

    People like that are downright disgusting to me. There is no situation where an adult should degrade a child like that, whether in public or private, your child or someone else’s. I honestly don’t know how I would react to him should that have been my child or even if it wasn’t and I was sitting near enough to hear him. It’s inappropriate, rude, uncivilized, mean spirited, and downright uncalled for. Parents like that should be banned from games…period. I’m in law enforcement and I feel very comfortable protecting myself, but I’m also a Christian and have common sense and know that saying something to him or being nasty to him would just fuel his fire. People like that love confrontation and love to stir up trouble. I’d definitely move and make sure he knew that his behavior was unacceptable. I’d also tell whoever is in charge of the security about him as well.

  5. September 14, 2012 6:10 am

    I can’t tell you how much this annoys me. Parents forget that kids are there to have fun and get too caught up in the game. There is no reason to be rude or nasty to people, or make kids on the team feel crappy. It’s a game, lets kids have fun 🙂

  6. lenoriarose permalink
    September 14, 2012 6:11 am

    It’s sad that parents loose control with kids. Parents need to remember that it’s just a game and kids are there to have fun! That includes both teams!

  7. September 14, 2012 7:21 pm

    Great tips. Some people are just so rude.

  8. xxplumcrazeexx permalink
    September 14, 2012 7:21 pm

    Great tips. Some people are just sooooo rude!

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