Parents, Coaches, Referees, andTrainers: Remember They Are Just Kids

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Written By: Felecia Causey
Photography By: Felecia Causey

Models: Antonio Griffin Jr., Errionna Burnett, and Lorenzo Harris

We are living in a time that so many people take the fun out of sports.  The adults that participates in children's events, sometimes forget that these are just kids. Coaches, referees, trainers, and parents we must remember this at all time.  As the role models and mentors in their life, we must push away the negativity, the favoritism, the cheating, and aggressiveness. Many kids will not obtain a career in sports, but remember there are more lessons to the games than we think. As a parent we are teaching support. As a referee and a coach you are teaching them fairness,  respect for others, and teamwork. As a trainer you are teaching them hard work.  There is more to it than just the ball, the bat, the glove or any of the other equipment the sports require.

 As parents we sometimes push them hard in a sport because we want to live our childhood dream of being great through them, but it is not fair.  We have to allow our kids to pave their own destiny, even if it is not the goals we have set for them. We can often times, allow ourselves to get out of hand at these games and suck all the fun out of it.  Yes, wanting them to do good and work hard, but don't be so overbearing ,that you take their love out of the sport.  There is nothing like the support of a parent.  One thing I know about kids and sports, if they love it, they will push and do their very best. A parent knows the correct encouraging words to say, but let's also remember what not to say when their having a bad game or the team loses. There is no such thing to me as to much support. Some of our kids may not get much playing time,  and if not, try to attend the games anyway. You being there may not seem much to you, but it will to them one day.

Coaches, are what pull the teams together. It can be challenging to deal with both kids and parents. I have seen many times where kids are not given the fair opportunity to play, not because they are not talented, but because the coach choose favoritism over talent and determine players. What are you teaching the kids?  Are you showing them that hard work doesn't mean much?  Will you teach them that they are not enough because you are childish and selfish to choose someone that is not deserving to play? Would you rather deprive a child of the chance to be the best player he/she can be because the lack of thinking of a child's feeling or self esteem? You must leave your personal life or feelings away from the team and court/field. You don't want to cause a child to let go of a sport that they are naturally talented at because your lack of motivation and support for them. You chose a role to lead and coach them, do it with both love and integrity.  "Be remembered as the coach that push me to be great, not the one who didn't push me hard enough."

Trainers, most parents hire you because you are an expert at what you do. You are crucial to a lot of kids who parents choose to invest in their child's future.  I know this is your business, but I also hope that you choose to encourage them as you provide extra knowledge and help with the sport. Your love for the game and your love for the kids is what help many of them become successful. 

I am sure being a referee has to be both a hard and nerve wrecking responsibility.  You have to deal with the physical part and also the rudeness of the fans. You must not fret or become so quickly to anger because the children can't control their parents or the other adults in the audience. I remember a referee used my son as a target. I mean he called every crazy thing on him, there was. I knew my son was getting frustrated, and I told him stay calm and play the game, "just let your father and I handle it after the game". This wasnt the first time we dealt with this unfair ref towards him. We finally decided to discuss with the head of the organization, and see what the problem was, in a professional way. After an apology and no good explanation, we haven't came across this man again. Yep, I am glad. Refs you are set in place to keep things in order, but when you choose to favor a team before setting feet on the field or court, it is not fair to the kids, who are playing their hearts out. They can't compete against the opponent team and you. Understanding that both teams want to win, but be fair in allowing the game to be played with honest calls.

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