One night at my daughter’s high school basketball game, my college-aged son, who was at home for a visit, noticed the overly intense attitudes of some of the spectators. Yelling at refs and making critical comments about players was new to him in his first time in the bleachers. He looked at me and asked, “have you ever acted like that, Mom?”
Cringing, I nodded. Yep. that was me a few years back.
I remember yelling so loudly at a ref at an AAU basketball game, that he gave me an angry warning. Another time, I marched up to an announcer after a game and lambasted him for his biased comments during a football game.
One time I went as far as approaching a ref after the game and telling him that his effort was the worst job of refereeing I’d ever seen. I am not proud of these things. And when I see others doing it today, I realize just how ridiculous I looked.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for showing emotion at games. I still moan at mistakes and express controlled disgust at bad calls, but I’ve realized there’s just some things you cannot change about your child’s game.
Here’s a list of those things, that simply aren’t worth embarrassing yourself—or your athlete—over, because they cannot be changed from the bleachers:
- Disagreeable calls
- The final score
- Coaching decisions
- Player mistakes
- Bad attitudes on the field
The only things that are 100% in your control as a parent in the stands are how your child perceives you as a spectator, and how you feel about yourself when you go home later.
“Well, Mom,” my son persisted at my daughter’s basketball game, “Why don’t you do it anymore?”
“I think maybe I’ve matured.”
I guess my kids are not the only ones who are still growing up.