Thursday, September 1, 2011

I will NOT become one of "those" parents

I coach 4 premier girls soccer teams. I love it with all my heart. I feel lucky that I am able to stay home with Peighton during the day and have a job that I look forward to each evening. I love these girls like they are my own daughters. The parents however...well, most are a pleasure and there are many that are now friends... but I definitely have some less then desirable. The girls that I coach range from 8-11 years old and most are coming up from recreational soccer (read, had large old men coaches who knew nothing about soccer) so they are very raw. I love molding them and seeing the progress made through out the year.

I am very competitive by nature, and it often comes out in my coaching. The difference between me getting upset at a girl and a parent is; 9/10 times, I know what the heck I am talking about. I have a chair that I place on the sideline and I try to make sure I sit in it for at least half the game. When a point needs to be made, I stand, yell out the instruction and sit back down. I can not stand the coaches that pace up and down the side yelling and screaming up a storm. I told one such coach last weekend that she was a douche bag. Not my proudest moment, but I felt that on behalf of her players, she should know.

Now, the parents. It amazes me how hard parents can be on these girls. I am talking about the obnoxious parent who is constantly screaming. Not encouraging these girls to keep trying and keep giving 110%, but just screaming at them. "Vanessa, what the hell are you doing?!?!" "Morgan, pass the damn ball!" "Samantha, you better run faster or you are running sprints after this game."

When your daughter is embarressed by you, you need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Why is she playing sports? Does she have love for the game or are you making her? Does she look forward to practices or dread you coming to watch? Then ask yourself, what is she getting from this experience? Only 1% of high school athletes receive a Division 1 scholarship in athletics. 1%. That means maybe 1 of the 42 girls I coach will play Division 1. Most likely not even 1. Sure there are many other great opportunities with Division II, III or NAIA, and I do think many of these girls could go far with their soccer career, but give the girls a break already. Reality is that maybe half of my girls will play high school soccer, so if you don't calm down and get your panites out of a bunch, they might actually enjoy the ride.

Andy and I have had many conversations on what kind of role models we want to be for our kids, and I know we are on the same page. While we both hope to coach them, I am very much aware that there are other parents or coaches who know more about some sports then I. I think it is important to know when to step back and allow someone else to teach your children. Remind me this in 5-8 years please :)


  1. I used to play competitive softball and my dad was my coach. He took the same approach as you. He'd stand up for us with umpires but he would never yell at the players. I think you are a fabulous roll model for the girls.

  2. You are an awesome role model for those girls. :) You make a really good point about being on the sideline and about how you act. I never played sports but when I use to attend school sports games, some parents could be crucial and really viciously mean. :(