Being a father who loves sports and has played some, I’m concerned of where all sports are headed in the future and what examples the athletes are being to our children.
Let me start by speaking about off the ice/field/court, why is it still being allowed to have parents that want to push their child to the extreme, yelling and screaming at both them and causing problems with others in the audience?
I would have to say that something needs to be done to end this, our children are here to have fun and compete in a sport that they have chosen and enjoy. In my opinion it should be in writing to the parents that any parent found acting out this kind of behavior in the public eye shall be asked to leave and not return without refund.
I’ve attended games of different types where there are always the odd few that want to ruin it for the rest and things turn out to be very uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there is to be excitement during a good or bad play, but keep it reasonable.
Now let’s take it to being on the ice/field/court with the so called professionals.
In the end, we are paying the outstandingly high salaries of the so called idols we watch in the sports we love and what are we getting in return, a show of violence, bad language, drug use, racism and the list goes on and on.
I really thought we would get better before getting worse, however, these past few years have been full of these issues.
From un-mistakenly purposeful hits in hockey, referee’s allowing fights go on long past when they should in the ring, owners opting to speak racist remarks in the open. The list goes on and on, unfortunately, most going un-noticed or with a fine that’s pocket change to them.
Can this be changed or even stopped… not without something on a mass scale that in the end just won’t happen.
So I ask this, “What can we do to make a difference?”
I believe starting young is key and let your child pick the sport they want to play.
When watching your favorite sports try to get them involved and explain to them the right and the wrong. Personally, to me fighting has only place in a couple areas of sporting and that’s boxing and MMA.
Nobody will ever convince me it belongs in any other sport including hockey, I say this as if you took part in watching any of the Olympic Hockey, and you can’t say it wasn’t of great caliber without it!
Take some time to get involved with the sports your children love to play and encourage them about playing but don’t ever force or push them to do or act in a way that you wouldn’t want for them.
Enjoy sports the way they are supposed to be, Fun and enjoyably competitive and played for the true meaning of the sport.
I’ve seen the type of behavior you’re talking about and I have to agree with you. It’s disgraceful! Let’s face it, sex and violence sell as bad as it seems! I know from experience that I personally don’t care for hockey unles there are fights. It’s a bit sadistic and rather barbaric but I love it! As for the screaming parents, I personally think that these are the people who didn’t “make the team” or push hard enough for their own dreams and now they expect their kids to live their dream not the kids! I also think a lot of these parents are hoping that their kids will become famous athletes and make them rich as well! Just my opinion but these are the thoughts that come to mind. Great post Matthew
I totally agree that parents have gotten crazy! In our family we combat that by leading by example – we cannot ever change the behaviour in others, but we can demonstrate the behaviour that we would like to see to all of those around us. When our kids play sports we cheer for EVERY kid on the ice/field and make a point of trying to learn all of the player’s names. We encourage the parents around us to cheer positively for every kid, not just their own. We celebrate all of the GOOD things the kids do. We try to create a team atmosphere with the parents too so that the kids will feel more like a team instead of a group of individuals all trying to outdo each other. After the game we make a point of going up to several kids on our children’s teams to congratulate them on things that they did well. We also encourage our children to congratulate their team mates. We gradually see the team and parents come together and mimic our behaviour, but of course there are always a few parents that don’t share the same perspective as us. If more parents were positive and encouraging of the whole team then sports would have a much more positive impact in the lives of our children.
Thanks for the read and the comment Janice, that is exactly my point. On top of that with how commercialized sports have gotten and the amount the athletes are paid it’s no wonder why they get away with so much. If they commit a crime they usually buy their way out of it, what does that teach our kids? Just last night watching my favorite hockey team “Montreal” and one of my team members breaks a member of the other teams jaw…his punishment, two missed games. If I was downtown and did that to someone I would be in jail, why is there a double standard??
Great piece Matthew. I too struggle with this topic being a huge sports fan especially the ones my kids play. I also agree that fighting really should only be in mma, boxing and wrestling. I have never understood the “its a part of hockey” Your Olympic reference was spot on.
I am coaching minor hockey and must admit I even see the parents craziness. On a positive note they require all coaches to take the Speakout Program which basically talks about how to talk to kids. Now in our minor hockey association 1 parent of every child playing hockey must take an course called Respect in Sport Parent Program. I do find it interesting only 1 parent, my guess the one that doesn’t need it. Anyway I think the solution is doing something about it and enforcing the rules.