Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.
- David Bly
My oldest son’s team was in a Tournament this past fall. Their team won every game until their last game, when they competed against another team that was very good at playing soccer. I will never forget the other team.
The only problem is, I won’t remember them for the way they played, I will remember them for how the adults on their team acted. From the minute the game started, their coaches and fans were screaming at the referee. The adults argued every time one of their boys were touched – they argued every throw-in, every goal kick, every off sides. If given the chance, these people would have argued what color the sky was that day.
The coaches had created such an uncomfortable, irrational environment that it would have almost been comical had I not been so involved. I had a pit in my stomach from the time the game started.
To the credit of the boys on this team, they played a hard, clean game. However I have been around this game long enough to know that eventually these boys will probably start being what they see. What we as adults need to remember is that we represent our teams and our towns as much as the players on the field do – maybe even more.
Most important is that we represent ourselves and, believe me, our kids are watching!
Next time you are at a game, take a very close look at yourself and your behavior, and ask: "Is this what I want my children to be?"
Send feedback or topic ideas to Mark.
Mark Housel, owner of Housel Fun and Fitness, began playing soccer at 7. He has been involved in the sport his whole life - as a player in high school and college and since graduating college he has been active as a paid and volunteer coach.