This year the Super Bowl plays out the first weekend of February. While watching the playoff’s leading up to this years game, like many others, I was taken aback by a significant no-call. As I explained to one of my son’s, yeah, the no-call was kind of a big deal, but unfortunately human error will be part of the game. A champion has to let that go and make up for the difference.
As such, we know there are many life skills that are learned in youth sports. Responsible social behaviors; teamwork; leadership; self-confidence; coping skills; appreciation of personal health/fitness, and fun to name a few.
Not all of the calls will be accurate or go our own way. With the human influence, that is to be expected. In turn, those “no-calls” or “bad calls” can be turned into something positive.
As parents or coaches, we can affirm the players’ feelings of frustration and unfairness, but we can also redirect them to learning that life itself will present challenges that are frustrating and unfair. Our best response is to learn from it and to bring ourselves into a healthy way of coping that will overcome those challenges. We eventually emerge a better person.
As parents and coaches, we are the primary teachers for everything our kids will learn. So we must set the example. Rather than harping on the official for a mistake (Lord knows I’ve come up short a few times), we should take the opportunity to encourage our young ones to overcome it, play through it, and play better for it. When we can provide encouragement and praise of effort despite the odds against us, we’ve won something that will last much longer than the final score of the game.
Granted, much easier said than done, but then again as parents and coaches, we signed up for this.
Play hard, play safe.