There are two different attitudes in kids' sports. There are those who want to see the children grow through their experiences, become more coordinated and physically fit, and gain self-confidence. Then there are those who just want to win, even if it is at the expense of some of the children. I am in the former. My daughter's coach is in the latter. Well, her former coach. I let her quit today.
I have always told my children to think carefully before jumping into anything, even sports, because if you start it I will require that you finish it. I believe that this is a valuable and important lesson for children. Today was different. Today I saw my child sit on the bench for an entire game.
She is used to sitting on the bench for long periods. She typically plays 1/4 or less of each game. However, she loves the sport and feels that the friends she has made and the skills she has learned at practice made it worth going another season. She also told me that if she worked hard, perhaps she would get to play more. I agreed to let her go back for the Spring season because I thought she had a wonderful attitude. I kept my opposing opinion to myself.
Then today happened. She sat the whole game while my family, even her grandmother who made a special trip to watch her play, got more and more frustrated. We drove out of town. We drive out of town for almost all of the games. I volunteer as the team manager. And this is a team that we pay to be part of. We pay a lot. Furthermore, she was invited to the team. So why is she sitting an entire game? The coach told me afterward that it was not a punishment; she just didn't want my daughter to play because she didn't want the best players to come out of the game for even a few minutes lest we lose!
My child no longer wanted to play. I made an exception to my rule and let her quit. She quit before we left the field. Was that the right decision? I told my family in explaining why I made an exception...Jesus said to turn the other cheek, meaning do not fight. But would you stand in the middle of the road and let a car run over you? No, you would step out of the way. That is what we did today. We stepped out of the way of those who would run over my daughter. There are other seasons and other teams. Her confidence and self-esteem and happiness are more important than the score of the game.
Stand with me. Let coaches know that children's sports are about so much more than points. Share this if you agree. Disagree? I would love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment and tell me what you think.