Good Sportsmanship - It's Basketball Season Again

GoodsportI’m not going to be the first person to pick up that stone and throw it. I’ve been around the sport of basketball for many moons. I was a very competitive person in my days, but I never thought of what kind of example I was setting to the young kids. Over the years I’ve learned that many kids don’t listen to the lectures we give them. But what does happen is that they see with their eyes the example that the adults display during a game. I’ve heard most of them, “Go back to ref school you idiot!” Who’s really the idiot here? “Are you kidding, my grandma can ref better then you!” Really … my grandma could not see very well or walk without assistance. “Come on stripes what game are you watching!” Well, obviously the same game you are. In my opinion, competitive people that want to win so bad need to draw the line. Maybe what we need to do is start letting the referees do their job. It’s tough enough officiating a close game without the fans' distraction. I keep thinking what it would have been like when I was a software engineer. With someone at my throat constantly ... my job would not get done.

“You forgot to read the rule book you zebra!” Well, zebras don’t read books. “How much did they pay you ref – I’ll double it!” I’ll be the first to admit I wouldn’t want to pay a referee double what they make, even if it’s the opponent paying him. “Hey ref, did you come from the blind school!” The comments seem to start getting lower every time, I mean really, to include a blind school? In reality the complaints against calls made will not help at all. The only thing it could do is flare up the officials and help your team earn more bad calls. In addition, your child may be doing the same thing as you in the future.

Being a good sport isn’t just about controlling our tempers with officials, but it’s also about thinking of other players on the team and not just your own son or daughter. Cheer for every player on the team – basketball is a team sport not an individual sport. Every kid on that team has put in hours of practice all week long – they’ve helped the team get better. Try your best not to gossip to other parents about why your son or daughter isn’t playing. If you have an issue with that, ask your son or daughter if you can set up a meeting with the coach. The coach will inform you of what skills your child needs to work on to contribute more in a game. Then, follow through and encourage your child to practice every day – hard work pays off.

We’re not perfect, we’re only human. But it’s important that we try our best to set a good example for our younger generation – Lord knows this world really needs it. Basketball season is supposed to be fun and exciting. And although we all want to win, the reality is that one team will end up losing after the game is over.

Go out and support your local college or school. Buy refreshments to help the booster clubs – you can’t watch a game without food … or at least I can’t.

I feel that one of the most important things a parent can do is “listen” to their son or daughter. Ask them if they are having fun and if they aren’t having fun, ask them how you can help.