Well, I met that guy at my son’s baseball game this week. Hand on the Bible, the coach on the other team looked exactly like him, with a little tantrum throwing Bobby Knight and Jim Mora thrown in for good measure. At first I thought that maybe he was just joking around with his players, because surely his red-faced screeching at Kindergarteners over their lack of understanding of the technical aspects of baseball couldn’t be real.
I soon discovered that, no, he wasn’t a jokester. He was one of those coaches. He’s the guy that makes the local news for getting kicked out of a kid’s baseball league for kicking dirt onto homeplate and puffing out his chest while getting in the umpire’s face. He’s the guy that yells, screams, and berates small children because they didn’t run to third base when an outfielder missed a catch.
Sure, I’ve heard about these people in an abstract, hypothetical way. It had honestly not occurred to me that these types actually exist in the world of children’s sports and that I’d encounter one at my son’s baseball game where he was playing with six and seven year olds like himself.
As I sat in the bleachers, I watched him with my mouth wide open in shock. I looked around at the other parents sitting in the bleachers beside me. There were a few people who were looking around at one another, wondering what they should do about this coach who was clearly out of control. But there were other parents who just kept chomping on their nachos and didn’t seem in the least bit phased by an Ed Rooney look-alike, screaming his head off and their kids.
Two children on his team seemed to receive the majority of his tirades. I don’t know who their parents were, but I never saw anyone confront him. Coach “Rooney” was lucky that he wasn’t screaming at my son, Carson, because I don’t think that I could have remained quiet. I don’t want to be that parent that interrupts games because their pwecious, wittle child might get their feeeeeeelings hurt, but I simply wouldn’t tolerate someone belitting my six-year-old because he made a mistake in a baseball game-a game they are just learning to play.
But I don’t know how I would have handled it had he yelled at my child. Would I have stormed onto the field and gotten into the coach’s face? Highly unlikely. Would I have calmly approached him and kindly asked him to stop yelling at my child? I may have done that. While I don’t know exactly what I would do in a situation like that, with the adrenaline flowing and the mama bear rising up inside me, I do know that I wouldn’t have let it slide.
Have you encountered these types of yelling, obnoxious parents or coaches at your kid’s sporting events? How have you handled it?
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