There is no “I” in team

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My son is 6.5 years old and we have been involved in sports teams for the past few years. This year it is a little more serious in the fact that there are more practices and “real” games.  My husband is lucky enough to be an assistant coach on his teams and I help out with the team manager role and other volunteer jobs. So, based on this I have seen a few things and have formed a fairly strong opinion about some of the kids (and their parents).  This weekend at baseball was no exception.

My biggest beef so far, is the kid with an attitude, and his parents who think it is cute. Or they actually think he is a star. Not sure which is worse. When the kid is complimented on his good hit or long throw, he says, “I know.” The parents just smile. Really ?

Then, there is the parent who is always late to the practice or game, or just doesn’t show up. Really?  Unless, there is a legit reason (eg: parent working, illness), just be there, or let the Coach know.  This is a team sport. It takes a certain amount of kids to play the game and make the practices worthwhile.

Please volunteer. Sports for kids are run by volunteers. There are very few paying jobs at this level. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes lots of parents to make sure the practices and games take place. Offer to help! Do anything! Bring a snack, hand out pucks or balls. Just ask!

Also, give your child some independence. This is a skill that is so important, yet often overlooked in today’s self-entitled world.  Let your child carry his own sports bag or if your child is in hockey, let him figure out how to drink from his water bottle at the break. You don’t need to run down the stands and hand it to him.

I am under no pretenses that my kid will be a professional athlete, and I don’t think I really want him to be. The attitudes and egos demonstrated by some (not all) athletes, don’t really make for a great role model (IMHO). But sports are a great learning vehicle; how to play with others, hand/eye coordination, physical activity, listening, cooperating, the list goes on and on.  It’s also fun for the adults to watch, participate and meet new families.

So parents, please participate and be present at the games and practices.  Teach your child to be humble and a good team player.  The coaches and their families will appreciate it. Think of what a great example you are setting for your child.

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