My son’s soccer team hasn’t been doing too well. Blown out is an accurate description of the outcome of their first five games. He’s playing 12U travel soccer and the competition is fierce. As parents, we should be encouraging the boys to dig in and get off their FIFA 14 loving couches and practice, right? After all, this isn’t the everyone-gets-a-trophy pre-school days, right? And it’s about the boys not the parents, right?
In the NFL, touch down celebrations are commonplace. Who doesn’t love Victor Cruz’s salsa dance in the endzone although there hasn’t been much to salsa about this year for the NY Giants. NFL Football players are cocky, it’s a part of the game and if they take it too far their team is penalized fifteen yards for excessive celebration. Also referred to as unsportsmanlike conduct, athletes in every sport are required to adhere to a certain code or risk penalty. In basketball, it could lead to a technical foul, tennis a forfeiture of a point and in professional soccer such celebrations could lead to a red card with the player being thrown out of the game.
At my son’s game this weekend, there was a celebration not by the children but by the parents that left me bewildered and wondering if the referee could issue some red cards post game. After a come from behind victory, the parent’s lined up in the middle of the field and created a “win tunnel” for the boys to run through. As I couldn’t attend the game, my husband took pictures of this crazy celebration and sent them to me. I pictured the boys on the other team already downtrodden from a loss now having it thrown in their faces. Based on our team’s moping off the field in the last few games, it would have added insult to injury to witness the opposing team’s parents acting in the same manner.
When do kids become too old for such parental involvement? Are my husband and I alone in saying good job at the end of the game, win or lose, and leaving it at that? Do kids today expect such behavior from their parents to feel good about themselves? I’m left with more questions than answers and afraid to attend next weeks game.
I hope the Giants win soon as there is nothing I like more than witnessing Victor Cruz shaking it in the end zone but let’s leave celebrations like that to the pros.