Here's a wish I have.....
That when you sign your kids up for sports program you can choose from two categories of teams you'd like to be on:
Choice #1: RECREATIONAL LEAGUE - Children will learn the basics of the sport, but above all sportsmanship will be emphasized and the goal of the game is to have fun over winning
Choice #2: SUPERSTAR LEAGUE - The teams in which parents believe their children are so good they will proceed all the way to college scholarship and eventually pro teams..... As a result, parents can be as competitive as they want and coaches can be as ruthless as they want..... really, I don't care what happens in this league, because it is NOT where my child will ever be, and I could only hope that those players, parents, and coaches that act like this would stay on this team so we would never have to cross paths with them......
But, of course that's just a wish and certainly not reality, as evidenced by this afternoon's basketball game.
Today was our little basketball team's last set of doubleheader games. We all came in like any other game, but the other team did not. They definitely belonged in the second category - particularly their coach.
We don't know what school they represent, but we guessed it must be somewhere in East Germany.... Their female coach was tall, threatening, and didn't smile once. And, their parents lined the whole west wall, ready to yell like the Mac Court Pit Crew for their 7 year old pro team. Right off the bat, we noticed a problem - they double/triple/even quadruple teamed our little guys - anotherwords, whoever had the ball, the team swarmed to them, ready to group strip the ball at any opportunity. Our coach, Mike, tried to repeatedly suggest that everyone pick one man to guard individually, one on one, but clearly, that's not what they were coached to do.
Tensions started running VERY high. At one point, Brayden very obviously traveled with the ball - something the coaches (aka refs) try to be a little lenient with. She blew the whistle on him and said, "I've got to call this traveling, FINALLY!" Alrighty, this mom could have done without that last little explanation regarding her firstborn - GRRRRR! It soon began a whistle-off. I think Mike tried to be very fair in his calls, but eventually got tired of her kids fouling all over the place in their aggressive attempts to win. It was an interesting halftime watching them square off at center court, attempting to come to some agreement regarding how the game was supposed to play. I'll admit, I was ready to bench my own son just to send in our star players so their butts could be completely kicked, and simply to shut their obnxious parents up. Fortunately, our coach did not, and I have to say all of our kids gave their all and were clearly exhausted by the end.
The truly funny thing about the whole thing is that our coach is a professional referree. In fact, he's the boss of the high school and community college refs in our county. He KNOWS what he's doing - but never flashed that fact (I would have). He didn't want a fight, he just wanted to have the kids have fun (without getting walked all over...)
As their coach was walking out, one of our more outspoken moms went up to her and said, "You should try smiling, coach." She was clearly taken back and wanted to know who's team the mom represented. Does it matter? Hopefully, she'll think about that one for a while.....
I know this whole thing is going to get a lot worse - particularly at the school we attend, known all over the city as the one of the most competitive. I will say Brayden's class has a wonderful group of boys, so this little team has stayed innocent longer than some of the other stories I've heard from other classes. I don't know, how long do we let our little guy compete in a sports world where he's out of his league? I guess, we carefully choose one season at a time, and when it stops being fun.....I guess that's when it stops.