What Are We As Parents Teaching Our Children About Sports And Being A Good Sport?
The reason is, we pay to see them play their sport, and we bring our children to these events so that they can aspire to play like their hero. Then we see the real truth, i.e., that it’s all about the draw and how much money these professionals can bring in. How many of these heroes have broken the law and been forgiven because of the money they make for a franchise? What kind of a message does that send to the children that look up to them? So if you are a great athlete, you can forget about what is morally and legally the right thing to do because you know you will get away with it? It is too bad that sports have become a money machine, and the players have forgotten the fans that got them there, especially the young ones.
I like watching Triple A Ball because those kids play their hearts out for the love of the game, not for the money. Next time you are at a peewee football game, look at the faces of those kids, especially when they make a touchdown or a great tackle. That’s what the sport is supposed to be all about.
What is this new situation where if your team loses a game, everybody gets a trophy? What does that teach a child? To me it teaches children there are no consequences or disappointments. It reinforces the idea that no matter what, you will be rewarded anyway. I believe it takes out the competitive drive to try harder next time. I was involved with both sports and Drum Corps when I was young, and believe me, my team did not win every time. We got together as a team, and practiced harder so that we could win that elusive first place. It built character, and is something that our professional teams need to address. It seems to me that camaraderie is dead, and that the players themselves are being played by their own managers/lawyers. I love that a player would leave his team to join up with a stronger team, so that they can win a RING. What happened to “Let’s try next year as a real team that cares for each other?”
Now let us go into the stands at these games, whether football, baseball, soccer, etc. Again, what are we teaching the children? I have seen parents acting out like inmates at a prison with explicit language, gestures toward the officials, at other parents, and even sometimes escalating into violence over a game. Why?
Just recently we all read about a young man who was upset with a call during a high school soccer game, and he punched the official. The ref later died from his injury. How awful! How does a family survive that kind of violence? In another case, a patron had been attacked just because he was rooting for the other team in front of his child. What about soccer crowds in other countries, where people are actually trampled and crushed at a soccer event? I won’t go to any of them in a hurry!
When I lived in Boston, I would go to see the Patriots play but to my disappointment, being pushed and shoved was not uncommon. Then when the beer hits people, it becomes a little more exciting trying to stay out of harm’s way. Do not misunderstand me, not all spectators are like the few that can ruin it for others.
There is a sport that has, I believe, kept its followers calm and courteous. It’s golf, a gentlemen’s sport. I believe that golf teaches both sportsmanship and integrity. You don’t see the crowds getting all worked up and threatening the officials, because it will not be accepted. The only real threat watching a golf game would be being hit by that little white ball that went awry. No people have been trampled at a golf outing that I have heard of. I don’t see lawyers and managers swaying a golfer telling them who to play against, or which tournament to play in.
Parents, be careful at sporting events with your children. Set a good example for them, teach them the true meaning of sportsmanship and camaraderie, and that it’s not bad to lose; just don’t give up.
By: Jim Doyle, owner of Madison Security Group