Perhaps the most important aspect of honoring our athletes is the role we serve as parents. We must accept the fact that our girls are always watching, listening, and learning from us. When we do not think we are leading and guiding them, we certainly are still navigating their future, we are always on duty. Please be cognizant that we as parents collectively share the responsibility to honor all of these young ladies, their team, and their coaches regardless of the colors they wear. We must honorably guide them through success and challenges that sporting events present. Even as they age and develop, I promise albeit stealthy, they still watch our faces, our reactions, and the listen to our comments before, during, and after the game. They look over after a great block or serve, they look over when they get caught in the net or hit the pin, they are always looking. We have the immense responsibility to shape, mold, develop their sense of self worth. Someone will shape their sense of worth, it should be the people who love them the most.
Like it or not when we as parents choose to drape ourselves in the colors of our club and exhibit the club logo on our hats, coats, and shirts we are choosing to represent the group. We either add to the honor of our club or we take from it. Hopefully all clubs seek to align themselves with individuals who demonstrate high integrity and honor. Our girls should have the opportunity to have more fun than everyone else, work harder than everyone else, and compete with focused passion. They should not have to worry about the reactions, words, displays of negativity from the stands. Together lets focus on our girls experiences within the game. Let us honor them by providing encouragement to leave it all on the court, every set, every match. Praise them when they win for their character and effort, praise them in defeat for their character and effort. When we are supportive we allow them the opportunity to enjoy and play the game they love.
If one parent on a team chooses to partake in distasteful language and disparaging comments their daughter’s teammates, they have and will continue to stain the reputation of the group as a whole. More importantly they tarnish the experiences and life lessons the tournaments provide for the girls. Please resist the emotional urge to spew negativity in the stands and the car. This negativity will only poison the relationship between the girls and their coaches. With 100% certainty the negativity will impact the performance of the team on the court. In no manner will the self-indulgence of negativity benefit your daughter or the team.
Parenting is hard especially when our babies have not achieved their goals or they are hurting. We truly can only be as happy as our saddest child. It is easy to get caught up in the finger pointing and emotional roller coaster of high-level activities. My final plea to all parents in the stands, please remember when you point a finger at someone in an UN-honorable fashion; you have three of your own fingers pointing right back at you.