We will start this post with a valuable reminder.
The success of another child, in no way takes away, hinders, or diminishes the success of your child. There is enough room in this world for everyone to succeed.
As someone who has been immersed in this fast-pitch life for a long time, I tend to take a back seat and sort of soak things in. So it was at a middle school tryout just a couple of weeks ago, I sat in my car and listened to a gaggle of softball parents checking out the ‘new prospects’ with ridicule and agitation and frustration. “If so and so makes it, its only because her mom is friends with the coach.” “That girl has made it every year and my daughter plays better than her, but my daughter has never made it.” (That one in particular was referenced to MY KID) “These girls are horrible, this team is not going to be good at all this year.” “What made these people think their kids, who have never played travel ball are good enough to make the middle school team.” “I heard Jill was a team hopper and her mom is shit-starter.” “Well, I heard Jack cheated on his wife with a mom on their last team so you better watch your husband.”
Horrible. Have we not learned anything from ‘Dance Moms?’ Did the Nancy Kerrigan story not teach us anything?
When one parent would watch another child have a tryout at their daughters coveted position, their faces were twisted and torn, arms folded, filled with obvious worry that someone might ‘take something away from their child.’
Sometimes, it’s a wonder that teams can form an re-form from year to year at all, with so many parents spewing negativity from the sidelines and FEELING INTIMIDATED by the success of another child.
And it’s no wonder, with all this parental behavior, with all these parents feeling threatened that OMG someone might be BETTER than their kid is (which we will assure you RIGHT NOW, THERE MOST CERTAINLY IS SOMEONE BETTER out there lurking in the shadows that is BETTER than your kid is) that we receive so many fan questions from parents who feel ostracized or who are tired of drama on their teams from gossiping or back stabbing parents. And it goes without question why some of the girls tend to bully, or ostracize of feel insecure and threatened by their teammates as well.
It goes without saying that our kids pick up on this. When they get in the car and the conversation instantly goes to judging, critiquing and blaming and putting down the ability of other kids, and we tell our kids about the ‘politics’ and warn them that Suzy is going to take their spot this year because her mom and the coach are best buds, that our children don’t instantly feel a little insecure themselves and start worrying or feeling threatened. When the post-game conversation is about finding fault with the new kids on the team, or when our children see us ostracizing, judging, complaining about or being mean to other parents, then why shouldn’t they adopt or feel the same way? (Which probably leads to why we receive so many fan questions from folks who feel unwelcome, or feel like the girls on their team are cliquey and don’t get along.
Here’s the thing. You are being a bully! As parents of players who play on a TEAM, the success of that team is very dependent upon us (the adults) understanding what a team is. (here is a little literature lesson)
TEAM (noun): A group of people coming together to achieve a common goal.
No where does this definition say we have to love one another, to hang out together, to share the same religious beliefs, to share the same income level, to have the same political beliefs, to dress the same, or to live by exactly similar standards or ethics. No where does it say that we have to agree with every single thing another family does or how they live their life. No where does it say that we even have to ‘like” our teammates.
It just says that we have to want to achieve a common goal.
So why wouldn’t you want good players on your team? Why wouldn’t you want your daughter to be pushed by another pitcher who will give her a run for her money? Why wouldn’t you want that other team mom to feel welcome? Why wouldn’t you want that amazing hitter to be on YOUR team, rather than someone else? Why wouldn’t you want to try to get to know these new people who could potentially become friends? Why wouldn’t you want to leave the door open for new friendships? Why wouldn’t you choose to be an adult and make your own assessment about people rather than depend upon things that you have ‘heard’ from the insecure sour grapevine? Isn’t that exactly what you would want your daughter to do?
And my goodness….why wouldn’t you WANT to be a good example for your daughter.
It’s really sad that so many adults choose drama over just making things work. Personal feelings aside (because we all have them) the example of a team is learnt from the adults. When children are on the same team – or even if one leaves a team, it doesn’t mean that ill-willed feelings have to take place. More often than not, the kids get this, but the parents do not.
If you feel intimidated or threatened by another child’s success, or feel the need to be hateful or ugly, or not treat other people with at the very least, respect – then there is a problem with you. It’s YOUR problem. Don’t make it the teams problem. Call it insecurity or whatever you want. But it is YOUR problem, and not your childs. Our best choice as adults is to not to pass it down to the kiddos. Is not to breed kid bullies, or instill insecurity in their lives.
Your child is good enough. Your child is successful. Your child is amazing. And there are other children out there who good enough, successful and amazing as well. And they aren’t personally gunning for YOUR kid, or out to get you, or your enemy. Get over yourself.
Now for our shameless Store PLUG! We are taking all position shirts down on Friday, and they WILL not be returning before the holidays. So if you want a 1st, 3rd, catcher, pitcher, utility, outfielder or infielder shirt (long and short sleeves) please get your orders in this week. These below as well as EIGHT otherS! You can visit our store by clicking www.store.softballisforgirls.com! All of this weeks orders will SHIP next THURSDAY!