‘Play like a girl’ | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | April 9, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: April 5, 2017 at 11:30 am

So often, I hear people say things at sporting events that make me “SMH” (shake my head) and say “***” (Oh my goodness).
Last week, I overheard a parent tell an athlete (during a region match) to ask the coach if they could leave early because the parent had to work the next day. At a different event, there was a parent sitting in the stands belittling the coaching staff because their athlete didn’t start the game – mind you, it was the first inning. Finally, there was the dad yelling to his young son on the field that he “played like a girl” and to “get tough.”
It seems we are awfully quick to place blame on coaches, who are, for the large part, donating their time to our children.  Even if a coach is being compensated, I can assure you, it in no way reimburses them for the time, energy and commitment they give to your children or to the sport.
Beyond the fact that you are doing your athlete a disservice is the all too real fact that the clock is ticking. All the energy you are wasting on negativity is time better spent enjoying the moments your athlete spends participating in the sport they love. Before you know it, those moments are gone and you realize you should’ve spent more time cherishing the opportunities you were given.
A word of advice — some of the toughest competitors are female athletes.  Don’t insult your intelligence, or risk hurt feelings (or worse), by demeaning them. After all, the phrase “play like a girl” has new meaning these days —  and if you’re unsure, I can introduce you to a few female athletes who may clarify it.
Come out. Support. Cheer. Applaud. Cherish. Love.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Mary H Yarborough

    April 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Indeed, “play like a girl” would demand optimal performance given our national champion Lady Gamecocks. You are spot on! And I don’t know from under what stone these obnoxious parents/spectators emerged, but I suspect they either never competed in sports or they never succeeded, because any athlete having competed in youth would show more empathy and encouragement. In my opinion, anyone who uses gender, or anything expressed in derogatory terms, particularly in a public venue for youngsters should be escorted away if not cited for verbal assault. But that’s just me, who since 6, competed in any sport available to girls. Yes. We all should play like girls, coach like Dawn, and lead like Nikki. We’d be vastly stronger, better.

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