Friday, August 17, 2007

Why Soccer Parents are the Way They Are, Maybe -- Part II

Dear Chick,

Soccer Dad expanded on my post about trying to figure out soccer parents. He offers some interesting insights about sideline parents he's come across. Got me thinking some more.

As frustrated and baffled as I get with parents on the teams I coach, I can't help but find it all very fascinating. Why do they act that way? Why can't they control themselves?

Growing up, my mom and dad went to practically every soccer, hockey and baseball game I ever played. They liked sports -- still do -- and enjoyed watching me and my brother play. When I played baseball, they sat on the top row of the bleachers in left field. When I played soccer, they sat far behind the goal. When I played hockey, they were once again at the top row of the bleachers.

Much, much later, my mother told me that the reason they sat so far away was because my dad could not stand to be near the other parents. He wasn't a yeller, or even a cheerleader. But he had a way of whistling -- a piercing whistle, one of the cool ones that you don't need to put your fingers in your mouth to do. That let us know when we did something good. It was the same whistle that called us in for dinner, so I was well-trained in responding to it, much like Pavlov's Dog.

He played sports growing up, including college soccer. Yes college soccer in the 50s. What I have come to admire about him as a fan is that he did not feel the need to pass on his knowledge of the game to other parents. In fact, he prefered to avoid them -- and that's pretty funny if you ask me.

That's why I get such a kick, and sometimes so annoyed, at people who seek to educate everyone around them with their expertise on a game that they really know very little about. They rely on what in reality is a miniscule amount of knowledge relative to others around them -- especially those in left field.

When I think of more, I'll write.

You know who