Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

September 05, 2006


Dear Overbearing Enthusiastic Soccer Parents,

Get a grip and chill out!

A Coach's Wife

I will be the first to admit that I am new to this whole world of soccer. I don't know a lot about how the game works, but I am learning. I actually spotted an offsides call this weekend. I was pretty impressed with myself especially considering a year ago, I had no idea what offsides even meant. That being said, soccer parents (and I suspect, sports parents in general) are obnoxious.

Let me explain...

In high school, I was in band and choir - yes, I was a nerd. Our marching band competed in competitions so I am familiar with that intense dislike of a group of individuals I've never met. There was this one band that we always competed against....... but I digress. I understand that you want to win. Who doesn't want to win? Honestly, who goes into any sort of competition thinking, "You know...today, I want to lose." Wanting to win is a given, in my opinion.

At marching competitions, we would do our program and the parents would clap. Everything we did was wonderful. They were proud of us no matter what. There was no parent in the stand screaming, "TYLER, YOU'RE ON THE WRONG FOOT! GET ON THE RIGHT FOOT!" or "ASHLEY, YOU'RE OUT OF FORMATION!" They cheered and clapped and generally told us we did a good job - even sometimes when we didn't.

Soccer parents are different.

It drives me crazy to sit in the stands next to parents screaming, "Push up" and "Pressure" and all other types of general coaching words/phrases. They're arm chair coaching from the stands. Every once and a while, there is a "good try" or "good idea" thrown out to change things up and possibly throw the other team off guard.

Then there is me, sitting in the stands alone, sometimes with a friend and what "cheers" come to my mind:

"Good try, Ashley!"
"Nice shot, Brandy!"
"Go, Celia, GO!"
"NICE SAVE, Deana!"

I usually end up not saying much, or muttering under my breath. There are two reasons for this: 1. I don't know that much about soccer and I'm afraid one of the parents will turn on me if I cheer for something that isn't right. 2. I'd be the only one, and I don't want to be known as Coach Raptor's crazy wife. I get frustrated by The College's cheering section. At home and on the road, it's small. So instead of being loud and supportive, like I would like to be - they are loud and critical, which I refuse to be.

Furthermore, where has sportsmanship gone in our society? Seriously. When a girl on the other team pushes one of The College's players to the ground (a senior with previous back problems) and then puts her entire body weight into a knee in the downed player's back, why are the other team's parents jeering the ref for making the call? That girl has possibly ended another players college career.

Something is seriously wrong with our society when I hear a grandmother shout, "Make `em hurt, Rival Team. Make `em hurt!"


Furthermore, as a player, if my parent's are screaming "PUSH UP! PUSH UP!" but Coach has told me to stay back it is going to cause me some inner turmoil - even for a split second. I mean, who do I listen to? My coach or my parents? I know when my mother tells me to do something, I naturally start to do it. It would take me a minute to stop and think, "No, Coach told me to stay here."

I made HH promise to give me a slap...dose of reality should I ever turn into one of these overbearing enthusiastic soccer parents.


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