Saturday, 25 April 2015

A Letter to Stupid Soccer Parents

    We are headed into soccer season.  This means that my husband will become obsessed and talk only of soccer until the end of June.  It also means that I will have to bite my tongue to prevent myself from flipping out on the other children's parents.  There are so many things that I would like these idiots to know.... but alas unless they are avid readers of this my little blog these words will remain unsaid (unless they get me really angry, or I finally bite through my tongue).  So here is what I would tell them if I did not dislike conflict so much....

Dear Stupid Parents;

    I am writing this letter to you because my husband is too nice to tell you what I am about to share with you.  My husband is a good man.  He is a kind man with a big heart.  Every year for the last 14 years (that's right 14 consecutive years) he has coached your children or someone else's children.  It is not uncommon to hear "HI COACH" on our travels, from kids as old as 20.   He has done this coaching out of the goodness of his heart, there is no financial retribution, and honestly most years there is no gratitude from the majority of the parents.  He has never received any acolytes,  as a matter of fact I'm not even sure that the soccer association has any idea he has put in this many years because none of them has been with the association that long.  He has never received any kind of recognition from the soccer association, because he quietly goes about changing and inspiring children.  He is giving up time off, of which he often has very little.  He is a funeral Director by trade and works for a small family company.  He is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Death knows no schedule and so when someone passes away, he is one of the first responders.  His time is very valuable to us his family, and yet he donates it to you.
    Every year we pay a fee to the soccer association, just like the rest of you.  Did you know that your fee goes to pay insurance, equipment and referees?  Did you know that not one single penny of that goes to my husband, as I told you before he is a "volunteer".  So many of you seem to think that since you paid money you are entitled to be a jerk.  You feel entitled to award winning coaching, and feel that your child should be put on for every shift and should also be entitled to hog the ball every game (even though soccer is a team sport) because you paid $30.  So many of you feel that you would be so much better of a coach, and have something to say about my husband's coaching style, and yet every year it is him shouting for your children, cheering them on, and you might make one or two games.  I feel at this point I should remind you that this is "House League Soccer".  That means it is for fun and exercise.  If you want your child in a pre- olympics type of situation, may I make this suggestion to you ... take them else where.
   Did you know that my husband lies awake at night and worries about your child?  He thinks about every child's strengths and weaknesses.  He tries to find ways to help each child to be their very best, much as we do with own children.  He carries scars with him of what he considers to be his past failures.  The one he beats himself up for the most wasn't even him.  There was a quiet mild mannered father who came to all of his son's games.  When this little boy took the field, the mild mannered father disappeared like Jekylle to Hyde.  He would scream, berate, basically destroy this little boy's self worth. It was the last game,  and there was a shoot out.  Being a new coach, and thinking a coach's job was to win, Christopher put this little boy out there to take the penalty kick.  This little guy was an amazing player, and so to Christopher, he was the best choice.  He took his shot, all breath was held, and he missed.  It was at this point the father was bright red in the face, and the little guy crumbled.  He literally crumbled, he collapsed like he had been shot and became hysterical.  Christopher still tortures himself about it.  " I should never have put that boy in that position.  I knew what the father was like, I knew it was too much stress".  That incident was over 10 years ago, and he still carries it.
    I feel like I should wrap this letter up here.  To you parents who don't have time, or feel inclined to volunteer your own time to help the children of your community, but feel like you are privileged enough to be a negative influence, please stay home, or keep your mouth shut.  Your positive input is welcomed.  If you want to say thank you, hand my husband a coffee with cream, or offer to bring next weeks treats, your input is welcome.  There are parents who request to have Christopher as their child's coach, because they see the value in their children having fun and getting exercise.  These are the amazing parents who ask if they can bring treats, who offer to help when help is needed.  These are the parents who take the time to learn all the team member's names and cheer for them all.  These are the parents who make a point of going up to other people's children to tell them what a good job they did.  These are the parents who know what this soccer game is about.  It's about making your child's childhood positive, providing them opportunities.
    This is supposed to be a fun game, a time to get exercise, meet new people, learn team skills but most importantly it is about FUN.  If you scream at your child's coach, if you scream at the ref, most importantly if you scream negativity at your child, you are missing the point.  Not only are you missing the point, in my opinion your are damaging your child, so STOP.  Remember why you are there.  This is house league, it's supposed to be fun, how about you remember this.  If you want to be competitive, join your own sport.  This is about your child, not you living through them.

    Thank you for your time, I hope that as the new soccer season approaches you will keep in mind what I am saying.  Please remember that your child's coach is most likely a volunteer, and they should be treated the way you would like to be treated!


The Coach's Wife

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