Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Parents Behaving Badly

Tony has been coaching Cole's lacrosse team for a few years. It's a thankless job and one that he puts a lot of time and effort into. He does it for Cole and I so appreciate his willingness and desire to make Cole such a priority in his life.

This spring he had the arduous task of dividing the Alta Lightning league into two teams. We had over 40 boys sign up to play, so in an effort to give the boys a lot of playing time and a better experience, Tony divided the team. He agonized over splitting the teams so that they were equally balanced with talent and experience. In fact, he gave several of his most talented boys to the other Alta Team.

Last week we played Waterford. They too, had two teams for Spring Lacrosse. As the boys were warming up, Tony questioned the Waterford coach as to which team they were, Waterford Blue or Waterford Maroon. The coach insisted they were the "Maroon" team. This seemed suspicious to Tony and to Cole as they recognized several key players on the Waterford team as players that were on the "Blue" team we had played a few weeks ago.

Long story short, we lost a hard fought battle to Waterford "Maroon". After the game, and from continued discussion with Cole and I, Tony realized that the Waterford Coach was "stacking" his team. This means that Waterford was taking it's best players and allowing them to play on both teams. One of these players was their best scorer, and another, their best goalie. This is completely against Utah Lacrosse rules and regulations. Essentially, Waterford cheated.

When Tony called the Waterford Coach to question what he had done, the coach admitted that he was "stacking" and didn't see or understand why it was a big deal.

I'll tell you why it was a big isn't fair to our boys who play by ALL of the rules to have to play against and lose to a team who conveniently stacks it's team with their most talented players.

I saw this same behavior a few weeks back when Rachel was trying out for a dance club. The girls attended a workshop where they were taught a short jazz combination that they needed to perform during the audition. Several mothers wanted to video tape the dance combination in order to help their girls learn and rehearse the routine before the audition. The Director of the studio did not allow video taping claiming that part of the audition was to evaluate the girls on their ability to learn and perform choreography.

I was amazed to see several mothers crowding the observation window taking copious notes of every step the girls were learning. Several mothers were even performing the choreography in the hallway so as to be able to go home and teach their daughters.

I just don't get it.

I don't understand parents who want their children to succeed at all costs. It is unreal to me that parents try to skirt around the rules in order to insure that their children are winners. Is this a case of living vicariously through your children and wishing on them the success you never had?

To me, this lacks integrity, it is the finest example of poor sportsmanship I know of'; it teaches children that winning the game, or making the team is more important than being real, than being honest, than doing your personal best. It teaches your children that you value their success more than you value them. Because truly, shouldn't we all trust that our children are trying their hardest to develop their talents, to find out who they are, to have personal growth, and that, in and of itself, should be enough. Win or lose.

Personally, one of the best lessons I can teach my children is how to fail, and how to pick themselves up and keep on trying. There will come a day when life deals roughly with them, when there is no one around to carry them to victory. I want them to be prepared, I want them to have the confidence to persevere and succeed....confidence which can only come from within.


Tami said...

You guys should turn that Lacrosse team in. I hope they get disqualified or something. That is terrible!

Brooke said...

I've been waiting for this story... and I can see why you were "fired up!" I hate the idea of "doing what's right" being totally forgotten, and I think it happens ALL the time in society.

What happens now? Will they get in trouble?

Jill said...

Tony reported the offending team to the ULA, who completely agreed that it was against the rules and code of conduct. We're still waiting to hear if and what punishment will be handed down. Probably just a slap on the wrist. We didn't really expect anything else to happen, it's just the principle, and really if people who choose to be dishonest get away with it, then where is the motivation to do the right thing?