Dear Parents: Please be a Sport

This week I thought that the politics of school sports would be the death of me! (That is, if the dirty dishes, wet towels on the floor, spills in my car, new timetables, shopping, bickering and half-eaten meals didn’t kill me first). 

It was all the parent chit chat about:

this team and that team, 

which team and what team, 

me vs you, 

and canceled matches that really made my head spin.

My dad laughed as unloaded on him. “Ah, it’s a season,” he said in that tone that only someone who is on the other side of the season can. “Only a season. Enjoy it.”

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood

So after the kids left the house this morning, I emptied another round of dirty bowls into the dishwasher and soaked more white socks in Vanish. And then I sat down to write this in case you have also been wondering how not to pull your hair out when it comes to school sports. I have a few ideas:-

1. Let the coaches do their job. That’s their job. They also want to win, remember? Best you leave them to get on with it.

2. Teach your child these two letters: PB. No, not Peanut Butter. Personal Best. They need to focus on doing their best, and then doing better than that the next time. 

3. Try and remember what it was like when you were at school. Did you love everything? Were you good at everything? Did it all happen in the first week of the first grade? Exactly! We all bloom in different areas, at different times. Our bodies change, as do our interests and goals. Allow your child the space to explore and grow organically.

4. Relax. If your kid is talented, little Richie Rich may have a better coach and a bigger bat than your kid but life has a way of working these things out and real talent will always shine through.

Let’s all try and get out of this alive and with plenty of stories to share. It is indeed only a season.