Ok, so we've got some rotten apples in this bunch of parents, but there's one guy who stands out. His daughter has been injured and out all season, so I haven't seen him for most of the year. However, as the team advanced through the state tournament he began showing up at games.
At this particular game that he was at, my wife had the misfortune of standing next to him. I was at my other daughter's game so I got this stuff in the post-game report (probably a good thing I wasn't there).
The team was having a difficult time establishing a rhythm and according to my report, the girls weren't running very hard or challenging on posession. The boo birds in our group began whining and whinging about the girls' play and yelling at them.
This fellow who had been monologuing on how he was a youth coach in another sport, as well as a referee, and I guess, an all-around genius, began commenting loudly on the play of the forwards, which is where my daughter plays.
He then began criticizing my daughter's lack of running, and loudly enough for my wife to hear. (Now, keep in mind that my daughter's injury had re-occurred and was affecting her ability to run). My wife asked him to repeat his comments, which he declined. He then said under his breath, but loud enough to be heard, that my daughter was lazy.
What a prince! A real class act. Last time I checked this was still youth soccer, involving young people who deserve only our support and encouragement, not criticism and negativity. I understand that some adults carry around a lot of negative emotional problems. They need to seek counseling, not project that onto 15 and 16-year-old girls.
So, my DD has been out of action most of the season due to injury. She comes back (after a month of hard work on her part in physical therapy, and attending most of the training sessions, even though she couldn't participate). The coaches insert her in the game with about 10 minutes left in the first half and guess what, she's slow, she's not in a rhythm, she is playing tentatively.
So, the group of negative CSPs from our sideline start groaning and yelling things like, "forwards have to run to the ball," and "challenge for the ball." The talk gets specific enough that I decide to leave the stands and find a neutral site to sit at. It's either that or create a scene in the stands.
Consequently, I don't hear anything else for the rest of the game (and am happy about that!). In the 2nd half as my daughter (and her teammates) find their way into the game and establish a rhythm, my daughter makes a great run through the middle, and in trying to get a shot off collides with a defender and the keeper, going down in a heap, but managing to pass the ball off for an assist on the tying goal. She then gets a few more good opportunities before nailing the winning goal. All in all, a good game for her first game in over two months.
And the critical CSPs? They cheer her, of course. Now, it's "great game!" and slaps on the back. What a bunch of hypocrites. And this isn't lost on the players. They know they've got a bunch of parents who back them completely when things are going good, but will throw them under the bus when they're struggling.
I typically don't post about my own sidelines for obvious reasons, but yesterday's game was terrifically frustrating. we're new on the team and I don't know many parents. I started out sitting in the stands next to a guy I know, and like; a reasonable soccer dad such as myself.
As the game started, our team was not playing well. Girls were standing too much, not challenging for possession, not supporting other players. We made a team from a lower division look like the state champions in the first half. Eventually, they scored on us and it was 1-0 halftime.
But, boy, did some of the parents let the team know what time it was! 10 or so minutes in and several of the parents were yelling, "You gotta run for it." "You gotta challenge the ball" "Come on forwards, get into the game!" All manner of helpful instruction was offered and in that CSP tone of voice that tells players how much they're sucking on the field and destroying the entire history of the game with their play.
As the half went on, the supportive cheers dwindled and the harping and moaning increased. Fortunately, the ref was incompetent and inconsistent, so he drew some of the parents' ire away from their own daughters.
Now my daughter has been out injured for 2 months. She hasn't played a game for 2 months. The coaches put her into the game (as a forward) with 5 minutes in the half. This is obviously time for her to warm up, get into the flow of the game, and hopefully prepare to play a substantive role in the 2nd half. I doubt the coaches expected her to light the field up and shred defenders in those 5 minutes.
CSPs fortunately know better. "Come on! Challenge for the ball!" "Forwards have to run for it!", etc. At this point, I was tempted to ask the main cheerleader for his daughter's number so that I could provide positive commentary to her as well. Instead, I got up and went to the other side of the stadium to watch the game in isolation.
Here's what happened. The team came out renewed in the 2nd half and dominated. My daughter played well along with the other girls on the field. She assisted one goal and scored the winner. When the coach subbed her off, she got a warm round of applause, which both her and I thought was ironic, to say the least.
CSPs who get negative and vocal don't help the team play better. Probably the opposite, though I'm sure their daughters have largely tuned them out. These games are 80 minute dramas. Parents need to support the players throughout, provide encouragement and appreciation, not reveal their inner emotional needs to the world.
I won't make the mistake of sitting in the stands anymore.
Here's a non-soccer one. At a nearby HS basketball game, ref and parent clash. The article features one coach's spin on the whole thing, which seems to be a bit friendly towards the father of his star player. All we know for sure, is that a ref and a parent seemed to have violated the unwritten rule of getting too involved in their relationship.
From the Just-When-I-Think-I've-Seen-It-All Department. My daughter's team was finishing the last 7 minutes of a game today at a tournament near Portland. They had just tied the game and both teams were gunning the engines, trying to get the game winner. The opponents got a string of shots from just outside our box. Each shot, one of our defenders leapt into the way to block said shot. On one of the blocks the ball hit her on the shoulder, as she was turning away from the ball to prevent possibly getting smacked in the face.
The opposing coach began yelling for a handling call, which being as it occurred in the box would've given their team a 2nd unjustly called shot from the dot (the first was saved by our keeper). While our team was turning the ball upfield, the ref whistled play dead and went over to the other coach (who I now realized was still yelling about the supposed handling call).
I was on the opposite sideline so I couldn't hear much of it - I got a report later on of what was said. All I could see was the ref gesturing to the coach to stop his protests. When he didn't the ref walked over to issue him a yellow card.
At this point, the coach told the ref to engage in an act with himself that would've required a lot of stretching. The ref pointed to the parking lot. The coach sat down in his chair and refused to leave. At this point, the ref whistled the game over and walked off the field.
The coach packed up his chair and began walking off the field, cussing up a blue streak as he went. All in all a nice display for the young folk. These are U16 girls, so I'm sure they're all familiar with profanity, but still not a great show of character from their 60+aged coach.
The game had about 4 minutes left to play when the ref pulled the plug and both teams were working hard to score. So, both groups of young ladies were penalized by the actions of this jerk. Too bad. Hopefully, someone in a role of responsibility will decide that this guy shouldn't be coaching.
Wow. 2 tournaments in 2 weekends and not much in the way of bad CSP behavior. The worst CSP spotting happened today. While waiting for my daughter's game, I was watching a team thrash another team. When the 6th goal was scored - by a girl who had hit a hat trick - a father in the stands yelled at the top of his lungs, in a deep "Ready to Rummmmmble" voice: "The Princess of Pow!"
It was one of the most embarrassing things I've heard a parent say on the sidelines.
We did get to experience one crazy soccer coach last weekend. After my daughter's team beat up on his team 9-0, in a tick-tacky game in which their keeper got red carded, the other team's coach challenged my daughter's coach to lace up his boots and play a one-on-one soccer game to see which coach knew more about soccer. Huh?? What crack are you smoking, son?