Over at the St. Louis Sports Commission sportsmanship blog, Solomon Alexander draws attention to some great supporting evidence for why parents should quiet down and butt out while enjoying watching their kids’ sports games.
It seems that actress Gabrielle Union (Bring It On!, Good Deeds), who also happens to be the girlfriend of NBA player Dwyane Wade, has been banned from the courtside seats at Miami Heat games that are usually reserved for family of the players. The reason? Wade was distracted by her loud yelling and pointed comments, directed both at her boyfriend and at the other players. (The “ban” is informal — Wade simply made a strong request that she move back several rows.)
As Solomon says,
If an all-world player like Wade is distracted by a loved one and he plays in packed arenas every night, imagine how your kid feels when you yell from the stands.
I’ve seen more than one kid stop playing on a field or court to turn to the stands so they can hear the nonsense mom or dad is yelling. Yes, I said nonsense. It’s nonsense because the kid has to stop helping his team to hear you. It’s also nonsense because advice from the stands has never worked on any level I’ve ever seen. They’re not going to score on the play you just called from the stands. More often than not, they get scored on because they stopped paying attention to listen to nonsense.
Those should be sobering thoughts for parents who think they should get involved in the game their kids are playing. It can be hard, but instead, try to sit back and relax, and enjoy watching your kids show you what they’re capable of without your help. Sports are a great chance for your kids to learn independence and decision making in a safe space. Let them at it, and try to enjoy the process of handing over responsibility, a little bit at a time.
Images: Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, photos from Wikipedia.