Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sportsmanship, In My Opinion

This post has been brewing in my mind for several weeks now.  I've wanted to start it a few times, and then decided against it because it has the potential to cause some friction.  I promise, I'm not trying to stir the pot in any way, but the need to get this off my chest is so enormous today, that I'm just going to go for it.  I'm very, very sorry if this offends anyone.  Here goes...

Both of my kids are actively involved in sports.  There are many reasons why we chose to involve them in sports at young ages.  For me, it's about so much more than learning how to play hockey, how to dance, how to field a baseball, or throw a football.  SO much more.  My kids have made life-long friends that they probably never would have met if they weren't involved in these things.  They have learned what it means to be part of a team, and how each person is an important contributor to reach your final goal.  The team is slightly weaker when even one person is missing.  They have felt the "highs" of winning, and the "lows" of losing.  Teamwork.  Determination.  Setting goals, working hard, and achieving them.  Following rules, and paying the consequences if the rules are broken.  Having fun with a little competition thrown in.  Sportsmanship.  So so many important life lessons that I know I couldn't teach them on my own.

I turn them over to their coaches and teachers every day, and I trust that they will teach them to the best of their ability. I honestly believe they have done, and will continue to do an amazing job.

I turn them over to their coaches and teachers.

I give my support, and I cheer them on (quite loudly!)...

I celebrate with them, and I wipe their tears when needed...

But I let the coaches and teachers do their jobs.

I am not the dance teacher.  I am not the referee.

I will get a little more specific.

There are PLENTY of times in a PeeWee hockey game that a ref will either make a call I do not agree with, or fail to make a call I think they should have.  Plenty.  Do you know what I do about it?  Nothing at all.  Sure I get disappointed and may mumble a little something, but I have never, ever yelled out anything at a ref.  It is my opinion that shouting at refs, coaches, or players with anything negative is a waste of time, and annoys EVERYONE around you, and makes you look like a fool.  I am ALL FOR making noise in the stands by cheering your team on.  Asking a ref for a tripping call 37 times in one game is unacceptable to me.  When someone around me does it, it absolutely ruins the game for me. 



And I'm not even kidding.

This is a game.  For fun.  Negative comments from people around me are making games not fun for me.  Maybe I'm being a little overly sensitive on the issue, but I'd like to think that I know a little about watching from the stands since I've been sitting in them for the past eight years.

I guess there are three things I'm looking to accomplish in this post:

1.  What are your thoughts on this?  Have you experienced it?  What have you done about it?
2.  I absolutely had to get this off my chest somewhere.  I'm sure hubs will not be pleased with me for posting this, but I just had to.
3.  If you are a spectator to any sport, PLEASE think before you speak.  Yelling at the refs will do you NO GOOD, and will only get them mad at your team, and will begin to make calls against your team.  Trust me.

I try so hard to teach good sportsmanship to my kids.  I cannot understand what the Negative Nelly's are trying to teach their children buy being so disrespectful and rude.

On a happier note, our hockey team won first place in our home tournament last weekend, and second place in another tournament we were in this weekend.  We won our first three games this weekend 2-0, 14-0, and 3-0.  When you are a goalie mom and your son has three shutouts in a row in a tournament, you are beaming.  We ended up losing in the championship game 6-3, but it really was a very close game.  The team we were playing against got two empty-netters when they pulled Andy to get an extra skater at the end.  I'm so proud of every single boy on our team.

Also, one of the hockey moms from our team posted this as her Facebook status yesterday, and I absolutely couldn't agree more. 

         "With all of the inspirational stories in the world and constant prayers being said by so many for people like Jack Jablonski and Barb & Jerry Heil, I could absolutely CARE LESS about the GOP presidential bid, exit polls, front runners and open marriages. What a waste of news time and ink."

Well said, Kristi.  Hope you don't mind I shared this here!  Just think of what the government could accomplish if they spent as much time, energy, and money on more important things than campaigning!

And Jack, the Hooper's believe in miracles.  Never give up.

So, please everyone.  Remember what is important.  Teach your kids to be good people.  Be a good person. 




  1. Good sportsmanship is so important and I believe it starts with the parents. If adults cannot conduct themselves in a respectful manner, then why hold our young people to such a high standard. You expressed yourself very well Nancy and I agree with you!

    1. Thanks Shelly. It DOES begin with the parents! I'm certainly not a perfect parent - in fact I'm far from it. But I'm having such a hard time understanding how some people work! :)

  2. Couldn't agree with you more, Nancy. Last year, a mom our our team told us that it was her oldest son's first year reffing. He was shocked at how many rules there were to learn and how difficult it actually is. Until you are the one out there in the black and white shirt, don't comment on the job they are doing. Yes, we are all disappointed with certain calls and it's ok to express them amoungst our own fan section, but they certainly don't need to get yelled out to the ice.

    Another thing that really gets me is when parents yell things like, "what the hell are you doing?" or "you can't miss passes like that" to kids on the ice when they are not their own kid. Seriously? Our team specifically has a very wide variety of skill level. A kid's best effort is all I can ask from them and this is not the NHL.

    Time for a chill pill, parents. Not you, Nancy. Sounds like Andy's got everything under control. :o)

    1. Yessss kel! I knew you'd understand! You can only hope the kids don't hear all the crap that is spewed from the stands...

  3. I like to be supportive when I yell, so I say things like, "Don't worry, Ref, you'll get it right next time!" Just kidding.

    I feel bad that your good example will be lost on the "shouty" parents. I think the problem is that professional sports have become such an end in themselves that some people think there's no point in playing sports unless pro is your goal, and the only way to get there is to ride your kid like a cheap mule. Much to everyone's detriment, but especially the child and parent, I'd say.


    1. Good point! So sad when a parent pushes their child so hard it's not fun for anyone. Odds of making it to the pros? Slim to none.