Yeah, I know you feel me. Parents do have terets. Hard to deny. I’ve caught myself at times yelling things I shouldn’t at a HS girls’ basketball game. Not fun or easy to admit. All in all I think I’m pretty good not to say much at all because I don’t want to embarrass my daughter but last season during a tough state playoff game one of our seniors raced down the court and, yes, cranked the ball off the backboard (in a close game) as she had done all season. Terets took hold and I said, regrettably, “please make a f’ing layup!” not proud of that. She’s a great soccer player but let’s just say her basketball skills not exactly at the same level although she may think they are. I guess her soccer wiring took over to hammer the ball into the net. Wrong net. Opps! We lost the game. Oh well. Sniffles.
Anyhow, some coping methods I’ve witnessed and advice I’ve received over the years from wiser parents who have been through this journey:
1 – Go into exile I actually go sit somewhat removed from the other parents. I don’t like to hear all the comments and chatter.
2 – Sit away from your spouse. I love my wife dearly but we’ll stir each other up. Just sit a few seat apart. I’ve witnessed other couples do the same.
3 – If you have something to say to your child it can wait until after the game. Respect that they need to listen to their coach and focus on the game. You are nothing more than a distraction. If they are looking at you and listening while the game is in play they sure aren’t processing the 9 other variables that are moving around the court. Trust me you are not helping.
4 – Occasional, encouragement is fine. Keeps the positive aspect of why we are all here alive and well. Use your judgement. Please cheer for all the kids not just your kid! Also, show you know something about basketball and don’t cheer the easy layup a second grader could have made, how about cheering the heads up pass on the run that made it all possible.
5 – Earplugs? Headphones? I’ve seen some parents do this but I don’t love this idea. I actually tried it for a few minutes and it really makes you feel like you’re missing the excitement of the game.
6 – Go sit with the opposing team parents. Strange I admit. Not sure exactly what this one does but I’ve witnessed a friend of mine do this. Part of it I guess is the fact that his child is the best on the team and he would somehow relish in the other parents dissatisfaction as his child lit them up for 30. I’m not a psychologist but that’s the only thing I could come up with after all these years as he sat amongst them with a big smile on his face.
7 – Think to yourself that in the whole scheme of things this doesn’t really matter. It’s about your kid it’s not about you. If you put too much pressure on them most kids will either a) crack, b) grow to dislike you.
8 – If you find that nothing helps and for some reason you are really upset after a game and you are in the car with your child please just shut up. If you have something to say perhaps it’s best to wait until the next day when cooler heads prevail. One of my friends does this exact thing.
9 – Heckling the refs will only get you kicked out of the gym trust me. A friend of mine was ejected from a game last season for saying something somewhat quietly while the ref was near him. He got booted from the gym. He proceeded to walk out while all waited for him to do so. The whole gym was dead silent and one of the HS girls from the other team yelled “walk of shame.” Can’t make this sh*& up!
10 – If you can’t handle it just sit that game out. What is going to happen during a game will happen and you as a parent have little to no control over it. What you need to be doing is supporting them prior to that game. Are they resting properly, are they shooting outside, are they dribbling, are they working hard at practice etc etc etc. What will be will be during the game and your voice will have little to no impact so, just simply, shut the “F” up!
If all else fails from the above try duct tape.
Not sure what causes parents to act with no verbal filter. A friend once said it’s a combination of many things, one being the money involved these days for college play a big role. A college basketball scholarship for a young female athlete is worth up to $240,000 net!!! Wow!!!
I’ve said my piece. Enjoy your day.