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What do you hear in the stands at a high school football game?

What do you hear in the stands at a high school football game?

Have you ever listened to the spectators at a high school football game? There’s always a lot of light conversation; but mixed in with the friendly banter, the comments can get pretty harsh. And it seems the older the kids get, the worse the criticism becomes. My son had to sit out one fall of his college football career because of back problems and so he was able to attend some of his high school’s football games.

It was the first time ever he’d sat in the parent section as a grown-up and he was amazed at what he heard. “People are really hard on the kids,” he observed. And being a quarterback himself, he noted, “Especially on the QB. But they were critical of everyone’s mistakes and kept critiquing the players and their playing decisions.”

Although it was true that the QB had a rough start with a couple interceptions, he eventually settled down and made up for it later in the game with two TD passes. Whether or not he made up for it, is not the issue, however. The issue is…why are spectators so critical of kids who work hard and try to do their best?

“Now you know what I’ve been hearing for 28 years,” I told him.

Being a coach’s wife has exposed me to just about every type of bleacher conversation and criticism you can imagine.

“Pretty sad, isn’t it?”

Oh, how easy it is to sit in the bleachers and analyze the mistakes of others. Especially kids. Kinda hypocritical, don’t you think? Have adults forgotten that they make mistakes too? Parents, grandparents, spectators–next time you are tempted to criticize a young athlete for his mistakes on the field, please have patience and understanding.

Kids will make mistakes, and they will learn from their mistakes. As we all do.

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