Poor-sport parents? Get a hold of yourselves!
Hockey moms and dads? I've got some bad news. Your kid isn't making it to the NHL.
I know. It's hard. Maybe if you hadn't gotten the mumps in grade 11 you might have made that triple-A team, and who knows where that could have led you. Maybe you could have been the NEXT BIG THING.
But nothing that happens in your child's novice/atom/peewee/bantam/midget game is going to change that.
And whether your daughter is in the starting line or whether your son stays on the pitching mound for the whole ball game? That's also not going to make it any better. And it's going to have ZERO bearing on his or her potential for a professional career.
It's time Canadian parents reexamine their relationship to their children's sporting lives.
What are your expectations and are they realistic?
According to a new Ipos-Reid poll, more than half of Canadians have witnessed abusive behaviour at a children's sporting event. For the purpose of this research, the scope of abusive behaviour at a game was narrowed to physical of verbal abuse of a coach or other sports official. (It didn't even count mouthing off or fighting among other adults on the sidelines!).
This survey of 23,351 adults in 22 countries determined that Canada is the fifth-worst country for hot-headed sports parents. It's embarrassing, but sadly not that surprising.
If you're foaming at the mouth because junior got a penalty, I'm afraid you're overdue for a trip to Mrs. McTherapist. Or maybe you need to download some anger-management sessions and listen to them in the van on the way to the game.
Here's a list of jobs for you as a sports parent:
1) Get your child to the game on time (or find a suitably undrunk alternate for same).
2) Bring or buy snacks.
3) Lace up/tape up gear as needed.
4) Shut the hell up.
Of course that's not quite all. You need to sell wrapping paper or magazine subscriptions or sides of beef or whatever. And you need to toss the ball around with your child or take shots on him in the driveway or participate in whatever other kind of practice is required. You need to coach your child on what it means to be a good sport, and mostly you need to do that by example. How can you expect your kid not to punch another child's lights out when you just lost it on Alpha Dad from the opposing team?
And if you can't manage to behave yourself for the sake of the kids or the other adults, do it for yourself!
You could have a heart attack out there, man.