Last night I attended the Poolesville Basketball Association’s Start-of-the-Season-Address. This was the meeting where the leaders welcomed and explained to all the newer parents and athletes the expectations, rules, and potential consequences the season would bring.
For instance, we were informed that if a parent gets ejected from a game by the referee, the coach is automatically suspended for two games! And they really wanted that to not happen to our coaches. Which meant they were asking all of us parents to, essentially, BEHAVE.
It meant that we, the parents, were expected to be appropriate role models for our children.
It also meant that we would be held accountable for any, er, ‘bad choices’ we might make behaviorally during the season.
I couldn’t help but feel everyone was looking at me. But that’s just because I have issues, not because I’ve ever been ejected from a game. (….yet.)
I can identify with the parent who goes through the roof when they see their kid fouled repeatedly and not get relief. I keenly empathize with a parent who gets frustrated with a coach who might not share their game play philosophy. I well understand mass mentality when it comes to game excitement.
What I can’t do, is promise that I’m not that parent. (See issues, above.)
I may not understand the game of basketball fully, or be an expert in the rules or strategies of play, but that never stopped me from helping vociferously and loudly from the sidelines.
How my Varmint can stand to be in public with her complete embarrassment of a mother is beyond me. Maybe it’s my amazing Zombie killing skills that allow me to stay within her circle. Who knows.
So here was the best part of the evening:
It was time to introduce the coaches. It was done very casually: This coach’s name is “______” and then Mr. “______” would raise his hand. And when this happened, everyone looked and nodded, but there wasn’t any cheering or clapping or anything. We were all still reeling from being told to behave.
We’re a fun town, a small town, a fairly tightly-knit town. Telling us to behave when we are used to jovial, rambunctious camaraderie tends to knock us back on our heels.
Or maybe that was just me. (see issues, above.)
They announced the Coach for the 8th grade girls’ team. And the crowd went WILD. More specifically, the bunch of 8th grade girls up at the top of the bleachers went wild. Loudly. Joyously. Excitedly.
And for the Coach, embarrassingly.
His ears turned a beet red. His grin was sheepish, humble, and surprised. He was not expecting to be called out as THE heart-throb coach.
And the parents laughed….we laughed at the girls’ enthusiastic display of affection for their coach. We laughed at his humble embarrassment in the receiving of it. And we laughed because it felt GOOD. It felt good to see our children so happy. To see them come together as a team before the season had even started.
When it comes right down to it, that really is what it is all about. Doesn’t matter what the sport specifically is. When you put your child on a team like that, it isn’t just to learn the sport.
Good sportsmanship. Perserverance. Compassion. Humility. Self-Confidence. Self-Sacrifice. These are the backbone of any community based sports association. They are the POINT. They are not just the punchline, or the sound-bite.
The coaches and staff of the Poolesville Basketball Association are keenly aware that they have a greater responsibility and commitment than most parents or children can fathom.
And it has little to do with that orange leather ball.