Perhaps we are similar to our parents in many ways but certainly not like our grandparents.
We seem to step into each new season not always with the anticipation of watching our kids grow, mature and experience a piece of their childhood.
When did we start to look for ways to criticize, complain, compare and try to convict the coaches if they display what we feel is not the best for our kids too quickly.
"Coach yelled awful things at the kids"... "He told my kid he couldn't play because he's not good enough right now or not trying hard enough or not paying attention".
What!? We can't believe what another adult told my kid! I need to say something...
Think about it, most of us tell our kids those very same things everyday at home and maybe we even swear in front of our kids too?
But we just don't want to hear a coach say that to OUR kids.
Have you ever said.. "Why are you always teasing your sister, you are driving us all crazy and you're not listening"... "You can't play Xbox or use your cell phone until you do your homework...the effort in school is just not good enough".
Coaches are just trying to get the most out of our kids at that moment, just like us at home. Please relax and let them coach and don't take it so personally.
Many of us had a youth and high school coaches who made an enormous impact in our life's and so will your children.
I hope as you read this you are thinking of that coach right now and I'm sure the characteristics and personality of that coach were similar for all of us.
They were probably brutally honest, tough, caring, and most likely said some hilarious things about you and your teammates that to this day you can recite every word of those classic one-liners and stories.
I'm sure if your parents heard what the coach said at the time it wouldn't be as funny to them.
Don't think too much about what you believe is an underlining message of what you heard your kids coach say...because I guarantee that is has a much different meaning to them.
So as I sit here and write this blog, I am thinking of the coach that had made the biggest impact on my life;
Coach Bert. In today's parent/coach holier than thou standards.
Burt most likely would be run out of most soft suburban, country club, entitlement communities today where lawsuits and getting coaches fired have become a hobby and a badge of honor for parents.
What does it prove anyways and what are we teaching our kids?
Back then and still today, Coach Bert was our guy.
I guess you could call him a throw back but he was a product of the 1960's in a very multi cultural blue collar town which was the same town I grew up in, so my teammates and I didn't know any other life or type of people.
Everyone was brutally honest.
Not only did coach Bert yell, push and pull us, he broke us down, built us up, he got everything he could from thousands of teenage knucklehead punks over his 30 plus years of coaching and teaching.
His style today would be deemed harsh, inappropriate, crude and maybe unprofessional but we loved it and him.
Not only would he smoke, swear, spit, scratch and scream...he told us amazing stories about life, former players and interesting people and places he had been.
Most of all he told us the truth about ourselves, the good and the bad. It didn't matter if we liked to hear it but we knew and accepted his truth.
Not sure what our parents thought of Coach Bert at the time but they didn't seem to care or try to run him out of town because all we talked about at dinner...was Coach Bert.
Most challenging moments in my life today, I take a piece of him with me knowing that everything in life is not always going to be easy and that WE DON'T get an award for just showing up!
As coach would love tell us..."If your mother doesn't like what I am telling you, tell her that I knew her since she was your age and believe me she wasn't an angel either"!
Please just let them coach.
The lessons that our kids learn today will be valuable lessons that will help them later in life.
Being a part of the team is as important as being the star of the team.
Understanding that not everyone is going to be the star and it's not your fault or the coaches that your kid isn't more talented.
But what a coach will do is get the most effort out of your kid.
Not everyone is going to get into the game and most of all they will not like every coach or teacher they have...our kids will carry these life lesson with them when they have bosses that they loath or love.
Do you want to quit your job because your boss said something to hurt your feelings?
Probably not and you get over it and move on.
Or maybe you do quit your job and maybe you pull your kid off the team today because of the same reason.
What is the ultimate impact...no one cares. So who are you really helping?
If we try to fight every battle for our kids now with lawsuits, board meetings and convictions, our kids will never learn to fight their own battles and more importantly figure out how to work with the tough coaches or their future bosses.
They have to figure that out on their own. Let them coach.
So as we gather this weekend as the "Arm Chair Army" and sit for a few hours judging and criticize coaches and the other parents this weekend in our Target Lounge Chairs with retractable roofs, drinking our $15 Starbucks Lattes and looking at our emails... let's put it all into perspective.
There are kids around the world the same age as our kids who are scared, homeless, helping to provide for their families without any hope of ever playing in a lacrosse game this weekend.
Be more thankful that there are still adults who really do care about making an impact in kids life's and try to be less cynical.
Please support the coach good or bad and enjoy the moment because your kid will thank THEM later.
Thanks Coach Bert!
I would love to read your comments below and please share this if you feel it's worthy for your peers to read.