At my daughter’s soccer game today, Luca took a pass near mid field, dribbled the ball towards the goal with several opposing players running alongside. She neared the goal and gave the ball one last kick which launched it into the goal.
She jumped up and down and ran towards her fellow players and they all hugged and jumped and then jumped some more. Her coach cheered. The parents on our side of the field cheered.
And then I noticed something inspiring. The parents from the other team who were sitting on the opposite side of the field were cheering just as enthusiastically for Luca. So was the other coach. He wasn’t yelling at his team for allowing a score or pacing the sidelines. And it wasn’t just this one instance. When one of the opposing players made a nice kick or score, the parents on Luca’s team cheered as did her coach.
I believe this is how it should be at this age. I’ve heard the horror stories of parents bulling coaches, opposing players and even their own children when they don’t perform well. At this point it becomes more about the parents than the kids and that’s wrong.
I can’t help but believe Luca’s confidence is boosted higher when she notices everyone cheering her on. It doesn’t take any of the competitive fun away to acknowledge a good play even when it’s a player from the other team. I wish all youth team sports could show this level of sportsmanship.