Every fall, children across the planet do one thing: try out for sports teams. And once those kids make the team, ordinary parents, the kind that help with homework, kiss boo-boos, give advice to the lovelorn and in general are pretty nice people, morph into that dreaded creature known to coaches around the world as the Sports Parent.
And before you ask, yes, I am doing my own transformation from ordinary mom to Sports Mom. But for the newbies amongst us, here are some you may encounter as the season gets underway.
My Child is a Future Pro Athlete Parent: This parent started his child in a sport at the age of two. Everything possible has been done to prepare his child for his future career. And the parent tells everyone the details of this intense training at every game and practice. Some even spill details at Team Picture Day, where the parent would love to have his child posing on a pedestal in the center of the frame while his teammates gaze at him adoringly. Okay, really people. For every Brett Favre the football field produces, there are a hundred middle-aged guys drinking beer in a bar and trying to pick up women with the line, “I played a little football in high school.”
Screaming Parent: This is the parent who screams in the face of the referee, because we all know that helps, right? I mean, there probably isn’t a person on the planet that doesn’t want to volunteer his/her time and spend an entire day running around blowing a whistle and being screamed at by irate parents. Oh, wait. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t sound fun.
Violent Parent: Sometimes Screaming Parent transforms into Violent Parent, a parent who causes actual physical harm to players, referees and/or coaches. I think we can all agree that isn’t a good transformation.
Anxious Parent: This is the parent whose child arrives in the gym with two bottles of water, a Gatorade, an electrolyte pop and a sweater. Yeah, unfortunately, that kid usually belongs to me. And he’s usually trying his hardest to act like he doesn’t know me at all. Sadly, I don’t blame him, but I can’t stop myself either.
Wannabe Coach Parent: This is the parent who sits in the stands and screams instructions at his/her child and sometimes the other players. This parent doesn’t listen to what the coaches are telling the kids, because why bother? It’s clear that Wannabe Coach Parent knows what’s best for the team, right? Yeah, no. All this does is cause mass confusion for the players and frustrates the heck out of the real coach, who does have the team’s best interests at heart.
Encouraging Parent: This parent is often confused with Wannabe Coach Parent. But this is the parent who sits through the entire game yelling, “go,” and “you can do it” to his/her child. This parent causes just as much confusion as Wannabe Coach Parent (and again, I admit guiltily that this parent is me) when the kids can’t keep from turning around to see who the heck is screaming their name right when a crucial point is about to be scored.
Put My Kid in the Starting Lineup Parent: Yeah, a starting lineup is just that, folks. It’s the kids who start the game. You know, I’m not an athlete. Never have been. In my day, the only sports we had were “keep-a-way from the dinosaur” or the incredibly popular “kick the rock.” Practices consisted of trudging down to the local gym, confronting the dinosaur and showing that you, along with 90% of the other players, had no freaking clue how to elude a dinosaur (in my defense I was an excellent rock kicker, having honed my skills on the shins of my sisters.)
But there were a few kids who actually excelled at the dinosaur game, so they went first (the others were apparently eaten, but let’s not go there). And you know what? Sometimes the kids that didn’t go out until the end of the game made the winning, last-minute score. Not me, but you know. It happened. So not all stars are on the starting lineup and not all kids will be stars.
Of course, these aren’t all the parents you will run into. Most will be normal parents, out on a Saturday morning at an ungodly hour just to support their kids. But for some of us, fall is a time of transformation, when we can’t help but morph into Sports Parents.Add me to your rss reader | Become a Fan on Facebook!