I push my kids to be athletes! I am not proud of it…well, maybe sometimes. I think sports are important in a kid’s life and I want them to become conditioned and love sports like I did. Is there anything wrong with that? No…not until it goes over the edge. I like to teeter at that edge.
For some reason I think that these kids should do thing flawlessly. I never was perfect, but that doesn’t occur to me when I am sitting there watching the game unfold. I really get crazy at times. Now I am not like those parents who yell at the players or say much to the refs, but I do say things that I should keep to myself. Why is that? I am not a bad person or think my kids are the stars of their teams, but I can’t control myself. I can feel my blood pressure raise and a big knot in my stomach when the game isn’t going well. Sometimes I have to walk away from the game because I get too heated. I don’t want to be like this, but I don’t know how to be anything else. I even had a ref tell me last year, “Relax, Dad, this is only a 7th grade game.”
When my wife and I actually get to go to one of our kid’s game together, the car ride usually consists of a talk that we have about how to control my emotions during a game. Well, it is more like my wife telling me to be supportive of our daughter and keep the other comments to myself. I say, “I’m really going to be quiet this game,” but that never happens. I see some of the other parents who sit and watch silently as the game goes on never showing any emotion and I want to say, “How do you do that!” But then I turn back to the game to see what I just missed. I know there is some happy medium, but I don’t know how to get there.
The funniest thing about my reactions at sporting events is that in any other setting, I keep my thought and emotions to myself. I avoid conflict like the plague. Just ask my wife about that. Maybe she will blog about that sometime. So what is it about sports that brings it out in me? When I was growing up, baseball was my life. I could have practiced it all day! I loved it and couldn’t wait to go to a game! I talked all the time on the field and many times would annoy the other team with all my talk. I was a good player, but never was great. My parents were very encouraging to me as a player and heard often how proud they were of me. Only once did I ever hear anything negative from my dad during a game, when he yelled at one of my teammates to “take the piano off your back.” Maybe his passion for sports is where I got my passion for sports. I was hoping as I turned 40, I would mellow out some, but so far it hasn’t happened.
I am writing about this to hopefully start a dialog about how others with kids that are in competitive sports deal with their emotions during games. At the end of the day, I want to be known as the dad who always supported his kids in whatever they wanted to do. There is that point when you can go to far and I am nervous that someday I will go there. Maybe by just putting the words down for all to read will be all that it takes to keep me and my emotions in line.