Friday, 19 September 2008

A walk in the park

The other day I went for a walk in the local park. The main grass areas are marked out for soccer pitches and there were a couple of games going on. One seemed to be pub teams of adults, while the other had teams of 9-11 year olds.

The game with the younger players caught my attention - well not really the game itself, but the fathers who stalked the touch-lines, shouting instructions at their hard-pressed sons. I detest this, it really stirs something in me.

Anyway, as I wandered past one of the dads was shouting "get him, tackle him". Looking over I saw the tackle - it went in hard and the kid with the ball went flying, landing face-first in the mud.

What happened next surprised even me!

The dad of the boy who had been tackled hit the father of the tackler! And it spread, until there was a mob of a dozen or so fathers pushing, grabbing and punching each other! It was amazing!

Meanwhile, the kid that had landed on his face, picked himself up, unnoticed, and watched the fighting with the other kids, many in tears at the sight of it all.

What is wrong with these people? Now I have nothing against people supporting their children in what they do, in fact I normally think it is great for kids to get support and encouragement in what they do. But this "competitive Dad" syndrome really does go too far, IMO.

So, what do you think? Would you hit another parent in a similar situation? Have you really really wanted to but stopped yourself? If you don't have kids or if they are too young at the moment, how do you think you would deal with this sort of thing?

13 comments:

sid said...

Typical English hooligans! I'd never hit someone unless it was in self-defence or a was defending someone I loved.

Teresa said...

That is ludacris. Sad...people...so sad. That the children who JUST WANT TO PLAY A GAME have to deal with that and watch their fathers beat up another friends father. What has this world come to? It happens over here too. And I hate it.

No way would I ever hit anyone in a situation like that. I think even in self defense, I would just grab my family and walk or run away. If I did retaliate in self defense...when would it end?...I'd just look like the rest of them. I would however probably press charges against anyone who hit me...to teach them a lesson of course.

Wow...I can't believe you caught it at that very moment...crazy...

Chief Rock Chef said...

Sid - Summarised beautifully! I guess you don't need violence, you would just crush them with your words! ;-)

Teresa - I just wish I had my camcorder with me - I could have put it on youtube!

Teresa said...

okay...wait a minute...I didn't read Sid's comment until now and YES, I would possibly hit someone if it was to defend someone I loved and had no other choice.

I re-read my comment and realized it sounded like I was disputing Sid and I wasn't...I didn't read him comment till now.

Okay...I think we're all good now.

Hi Sid.

Chief Rock Chef said...

Teresa - I didn't think you were disputing what Sid said (Sid is a she, BTW), and I am sure that if it came to it you would fight like a lioness to defend those you love. My question was more about making a decision to hit someone, not being forced into it.

Yep, I think we are all good now.

Jen said...

I played American Soccer since I was 6-years-old (until I was 24). I never really heard the parents on either side of the field and I can't tell you why. I always thought it was weird for them to yell at us seeing as I never heard them anyhow. I only listened for my coaches voice. . .

I then taught JV (junior varsity) soccer to high school boys and girls. I couldn't believe the verbal poo that flung out of some parents mouths. Sad, really. In fact, after a game I turned to a father who was yelling at me and said, "I know exactly why your son is the way that he is" and then turned my back on him and walked away.

Parents are insufferable and incorrigible when it comes to sporting events. Mean, mean people.

Honestly, I would never, EVER utter anything but positives, if even that, at a game. You wouldn't find me in a fight either. Not just 'cos I'm Amazonian and people are scared of me either. . . .

terri said...

I couldn't hit someone. (I don't think I could anyway.) But it's this kind of behavior that ruins kids' sports. It's not supportive and encouraging at all. It's poor sportsmanship.

Um Naief said...

I can't stand this type of behavior. I can't stand parents who put too much stress on their kids to do things a certain way or do it 'the best'... so to speak. And for them to carry it onto the other player's dads... it's just crazy, I think. Sounds like these fathers have a lot of pent up frustration or something.

Ali said...

*sigh*

Those are the kinds of parents that make me want to keep my kids out of things like that!
But what do you do? You want your kids to learn to be part of a team, and make friends, and hopefully have a great time.

I am vowing to NEVER be that parent, and Chris won't either, he's much more calm than I am. However, in my own or a loved one's defense in a situation like this you can bet I would be swinging. I don't have a problem with a little whup-ass if someone attacks me or my kid first.

kenady said...

I'm not the kind of person to just hit someone... there would have to be a lot of provocation, threatening myself or my loved ones, etc.

What is wrong with the world today? All of this violence. What do you think those kids learned from their dads? That it's ok to act like jerks?

Kiki said...

When I was on the volleyball teams in high school my momma yelled the loudest...it was awesome! But get in a physical fight...that's not her style, she'd rather use her words to do the fighting with!!

Claire said...

I was scrolling down - holding my breath to see if any of my daughters had commented here - and then got to Kik's - I become a totally different person at a game - and when my kids were playing I was hopefully cheering - I know I used to yell to my daughter Lauren that I would buy her ice cream after the game if she would stop the ball (she was an awesome goalie in soccer but didn't like to play that position)I became an assist. coach so I could yell. But I was never mean or insulting - really - just cheering : )

Sitting in Silence said...

I would never hit anyone...what a pack of sports rats...