If we had a quarter for every time we heard a softball parent say that they joined a team, only to find out that the other parents didn’t welcome them – we would be wealthy, indeed. This bully baller mom (and dad) thing is apparently a thing….
A sad reality in youth sports is that despite their being plenty of room for every kid on the field to shine, parents are intimidated by other kids, especially new kids – who join their team and perhaps ‘challenge’ their child for a position or playing time. And boy can things get ugly and downright mean.
One of the reasons there is so much team jumping, and why it is so hard to keep a team together is because teams are infiltrated with “Bully Baller Moms (and dads) who can’t see through their own insecurities and jealousies to genuinely welcome new people on the team with open arms.
Instead of seeing what this new player can offer the team, the parents often get shunned to sit under tents alone away from the team, and to hear the echoes of the other parents talking about them. And sadly, it is mostly the softball moms who seem to form together in cliques and tear apart the new talent – long before they even get a chance to get to know them.
We ‘get’ it. Sort of. You get comfortable with your little group, and you don’t want anything to change. So when someone leaves and your team has an opening – or maybe when it comes down to it and your team needs a new position player in a key position to continue improving – parents get their backs up and feel offended and threatened and have their feelings hurt.
So in secretive, mean girl style the parents will band together and pick out reasons and find ways to dislike the ‘newbie’ making things as uncomfortable as possible in the hopes that they will just go away.
Coaches hear it all the time. A player joins and then leaves quickly because they don’t feel like they ‘fit; in. Which is simply code for; the other parents obviously do not want me there and we spend too much damn time together for me to sit there and listen to my child being talked about while I am collectively shunned from the group.
Look, its hard enough to find new players that fit in personality and talent wise, and now coaches have to worry about butt hurt parents who see a new teammate as a threat to their own child’s playing time and status??
And we wonder what is wrong with youth team sports? Hint…it’s not the kids – its the parents!
Even worse, parents will criticize the ‘new’ kid on the block in front of their kids, which trickles into the dugout.
“Well, they just didn’t fit in!” “Why is the coach playing her at 1st when my daughter always plays there?” “Her mom and dad aren’t interested in talking to any of us!” “That kid and her parents are going to bring drama to the team!” “I am not going to pay to have my kid sit, while the new girl plays every inning!!”
These are the types of comments you hear from the gallery, as parents try to justify and circumvent their feelings of obvious insecurity.
For God’s sake folks – give the new people a chance. Don’t be so quick to judge. So freaking what if your kid has to work harder, see it as a blessing that they are being pushed by someone ON THEIR TEAM! Tell your kid to get off their rump and WORK HARDER and EARN what they get. Allow time for relationships to work, and treat people like they are a guest in your house. Get to know these people. Stop being so intimidated by talent, and for the LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY – realize THIS:
Blowing out someone else’s candle, doesn’t make yours shine any brighter!
Our advice! If you have a new family joining your team this year, then WELCOME them. Be grateful that they saw enough in your team to join and to want to spend their time with y’all. Invest in them and break open your tight knit cligue and let them in. Give them a chance. If their kid happens to play the same position as your daughter, so be it. Remember that in this game and in life, there is plenty of room on the field for everyone. At the end of the day, the vast majority of us are all here for the same reasons. To empower these girls through a game they love, and to enjoy our time watching them be children; because Lord knows its fleeting…