Friday, February 27, 2015

Seeing Both Sides as a Basketball Mom

You know what I consider a big positive about this 24-hour news cycle?

What may seem like the end of the world one minute, will be quickly replaced by the next earth-shattering story.

A big negative? The scary reality of video, the replay button, and the need to feed the beast.

You've likely seen by now what happened after the Vanderbilt-Tennessee basketball game last night. After a tremendous win, Vandy Coach Kevin Stallings ran straight into that media fire. Today he profusely apologized for the obscenity-laden correction of his player's reported unsportsmanlike behavior. Hopefully, it's a learning lesson for everyone. Heck, watch any episode of Dr. Phil, and you'll see that losing it--for whatever reason--never looks good on tape.

Some of you reading this remain shocked to see a coach yell like that.

I know I used to be. And I stayed that way for years. (For the record, I still believe coaches can rise above dropping F bombs and taking God's name in vain.)

But then my kids got seriously into sports.

And now, I get it.

Boy, is it a good thing I married Frank. He's helped me understand the other side. That people are different.

If I had raised my kids on my own, I may have encouraged them to quit when the going got tough.
I may have over-reacted when I heard an adult use bad language or even raise their voice at someone's child.
I would have likely scheduled dozens of meetings with school administrators and teachers, admonishing them for destroying my child's self-esteem.

Basically, my sensitivity and need to protect their psyches may have really screwed them up!

What I have learned as the mother of athletes is that compassion does not fly in the heat of battle.
Military folks know this too. They're used to this kind of coaching/leadership style.

So for all of you who struggle with a coach yelling at your kid, whether in high school, the YMCA, or college athletics, I certainly get it. I wish they would only encourage, hug our kids, and treat them kindly!

But I have also learned there is a place for the opposite. I've learned our children are smarter and tougher than we think. And experiencing different personality styles may prepare them well for some difficult situations--and people--down the road of life.

Which brings us back to the 24-hour news cycle and how similar it is to sports.

Both require you to move on quickly from the last breaking news story or big game.

It happens, you accept it, and you either suffer the consequences or delight in victory and celebrity.

And then you move forward.

If only heartbreak could be so speedy!


1 comment:

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