The Sports Parent

There is a boy on my son’s football team. He is a big boy, and he is only 8. He was placed on an older team because of his weight, but he is the youngest on the team.

He cries every play

He doesn’t get up when he gets tackled

He tells his coaches over and over that he doesn’t want to be there

My son has told me this kid doesn’t want to be there. I overheard the coaches at the last practice tell the dad that his son doesn’t want to play and he will get hurt, badly, if they put him in a game. The coach explained that they HAD to put him in for 2 quarters a game per the rules of the division. Every kid plays.

The dad argued with the coach and told the coach that his son loves football, and he wants to play. He nearly got in a fist fight with the coach about the issue. The coach suggested that the boy has told all of them that he likes soccer better and would like to play that instead of football. The dad thought that was dumb because he never had the kid around soccer. Only baseball and they are huge Steeler’s fans.

Tonight, the dad was sitting next to me at practice. He kept yelling encouragement to his son…

“You can do it!”

“Hit em hard”

“Don’t stand up straight, get down”

“Your tough, you can take ’em”

Every play it was the same thing….

I don’t have anything against that kind of encouragement, except that at one point the kid just fell to the ground and cried and cried and cried hysterically. Finally the coach told him to get off the field and the dad told him this:

“You just had 6 guys fall on you and your not hurt, see your pads keep you safe, now get out there and show them what your made of.”

My problem with this is that the dad refuses to see past his own shattered football star dreams and is putting that on his son who clearly HATES it. Just looking at him it was obvious that all he cared about was HIS wants. He never took a second to see that his son was MISERABLE!!!!

It was like watching the parents of the American Idol failures who insist on telling their tone deaf kids what  great singers they are.

My husband thought my jaw would hurt tonight from all the grinding I was doing trying hard to keep my mouth shut. I wanted to strangle the guy.

I hope and pray I never become a parent who hinders my children’s natural talents to live a dream I never completed.


6 Responses

  1. Oh Tina, that is just awful! My heart aches for that poor child.

  2. I live with that guy, he is my husband, and doesnt have any interest in our oldest son because he doesnt enjoy playing sports. My middle child will do anything to please his dad so he is playing football again. It breaks my heart.

  3. I agree. i so wish parents wouldn’t try to replicate their own dreams in their children – unless it really is what the children want.

    Tina, on another subject – do you recall some time ago leaving a comment on my blog, at the end of a post in memory of my dearest friend who had died?
    Well, yesterday her son left you and me a reply. It is beautiful, and so worth reading. he answers a question you asked. Find it here:

    You might also like to read his comment on another post about his Mum:

  4. The guy sounds like a real winner. My heart breaks for his son!

  5. I say choke him! The dad, not the kid. 😉

  6. The kid’s dad. Obscenely tiny man. No way he ever played football himself.

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