Not-So-Little-League; an Adult Obsession

thesearekidsToday was not a good day in the land of mom, or local little league for that matter.

For years I have been grateful to the coaches and volunteers who have come together to help kids in our city play sports. I’ve been a hockey mom, a soccer mom, a baseball mom, a football mom, a curling mom, a basketball mom, and a happy mom.

I have also been an annoyed mom.

Annoyed when adults with something to prove take the fun out of the sport for kids. I’ve seen parents yell at their kids, other people’s kids, and act like barbaric fools over kids’ sports.

Most of the time I wear my trademark grin, and waddle away silent, with a happy kiddo. But not today. Today I lost my ever-present-cool, and let someone have it. The only thing I regret is that every single parent who has ever interfered in their child’s sports like a whiny six-year-old didn’t get the full lecture.

Let me lay out some basic rules for you over-enthusiastic-never-made-the-team-I-live-vicariously-through-my-own-child goombas;

1) It’s a game. Play by the rules and honour sportsmanship above all else.

2) It’s a game. Cheer for the great stuff going on at the rink, on the field, on the court. Don’t shame a kid because they aren’t a professional athlete.

3) It’s a game. Your ego means nothing. How the kids come off the field/ice/court/whatever is all that matters. Are they smiling? Do they make everyone on the team feel valued? If you can answer yes to both of these questions nothing else matters.

4) It’s a game. DO NOT use the words, ‘sign’,  ‘draft’, or ‘release’ when you’re talking about kids and sports. If you find yourself using these words and taking yourself seriously, clearly you need to march your chubby-has-been-buns off to an old-timers team and get busy. You are not helping the kids, you are pathetic.

5) It’s a game. Thank your coaches. It’s a huge commitment, and a good coach is a blessing.  Goodness knows that I haven’t a clue about how to be a good coach. I just know that my child has been blessed with some amazing ones.

6) It’s a game. Don’t play politics with minor sports. Kids need this now more than ever. If you want to play politics, start reading and paying attention to our career-quasi-Hollywood politicians already in office. That’s a sport for adults.

7) It’s a game. It’s not all about winning or losing (although winning is indeed pretty darn sweet). It’s about commitment, integrity, and getting better than you were the day before.

8) It’s a game. Have fun with each other. Enjoy the time you get to spend with other parents who want the best for their children. Revert to your childhood, and enjoy being out and active with your community.

After a week of over-the-top bullying by adults trying to run little league like it’s the MLB, I thought that sharing some of my tips might be helpful, inspiring, or even just reassuring to other parents.

It’s about fun, learning and not about making it such an over-the-top-ego-circus that you tick off the momma. ‘Cause when the momma gets angry, ain’t nobody having fun.

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Spiritual Hip-Waders

angry_woman

angry_woman (Photo credit: Floyd Brown)

You be the judge, or perhaps maybe not.

Maybe you might like to step back, take a breath, and lend a hand instead of tearing someone down with your judgmental old self.

It’s easier said than done, right? It’s easy to be caught up in the moment and react. Yah, I get it.

Being present, being compassionate, being empathetic; None of these ways of being are actually something many of us cultivate on a day-to-day basis. You know, with other real people, not just philosophy books, or quirky memes, or when we’re in a good mood.

It’s a constant struggle for balance between keeping firm personal boundaries and benevolence.

One thing I’ve noticed throughout my life is that the folks first to judge are the least likely to actually ‘do’, least likely to stop complaining and take risks to make a difference.

In other words, they have a shallow pool of spiritual awareness and like to baptize us all with their egos instead of donning a pair of spiritual hip waders to explore the fertile, magic, muck of their own humanity.

We all fall short sometimes and we know it. Trust me kittens, the last thing anyone needs is to be kicked when they’re down. In other words, if you don’t have anything kind so say, keep your cake-hole busy biting your tongue.

Some folks need to be needed. It’s misplaced ego stroking at best, and just because you’re happy to be open to the needs of others without needing to be a martyr, don’t let their martyr mentality shadow your own strength and independence.

For anyone struggling with constant critics, poisonous environments or abusive relationships of any sort I offer you my final thoughts;

You know who you are and that your intentions are good.

You are intelligent. You are strong. You are beautiful.

If you’ve felt the snub of the judgmental, the armchair life coaches, and chronically bitchy, don’t you dare let it get to you. Remember how far you’ve come.

That is all my sweet darlings. That is all.