When does it go too far?

@soccermom (3200)
United States
June 11, 2007 6:32am CST
I'm looking for some perspectives here because last night my hubby told me I just don't understand. Here's the situation...I coach soccer for 11-12 year old girls, and also a 4-5 year old team. My MIL coaches 11 year old Pony league softball. Over the years I have made alot of friends in the soccer league, and have always adopted the attitude with my team that if we win that's great, but if we lose it's not the end of the world as long as we had a good time and learned something. I encourage my parents to cheer for both teams and recognize a job well done regardless of it's our team or the opposing team. Yesterday I called my MIL to see if I was dropping the kids off or if she was picking them up this morning, and she was pretty hot under the collar over the softball game she coached today. I guess one of the girls on the other team got sick during the game and had to sit out. That left the other team with only 8 players, and the umps decided that instead of counting it as an automatic "out" when this girl was supposed to bat they'd let another girl bat for her. My MIL believed this was a violation of the rules and was on the hunt for the rules so she could file a grievance. 3 hours later she called me, pretty ticked off because she as having internet connection problems and wanted to know if I could Google then print out some information for her on the Pony softball rules. She was so angry over letting this other girl bat for the sick one! I told my hubby I thought this was ridiculous for her to be putting so much effort into such a negative thing, what was the point, would it matter a month from now? Would it effect what college these girls got into? What was the point? He said softball isn't like soccer and the parents and coaches get really heated about it. They get heated on occassion at soccer to, but as a coach I don't think it is my responsibility to condone it at these kids age group. He rolled his eyes and said I just don't understand. He's right, I don't. Am I wrong in thinking that my MIL is taking it too far? It's not like this kid asked to get sick, and after all, shouldn't they just be learning the fundamentals? I could rant forever, but I think you get the idea...what do you think?
6 people like this
15 responses
• United States
11 Jun 07
Yes, you are so RIGHT. I have not coached any girls's anything, I have been a team Mom though, if that counts. I have raised a few children and one of them was a girl's select soccer team and we traveled all over the US playing in matches. I have seen first handed parents getting angry and I think it is STUPID what some of the parents do, it is just a game and they get so angry, throw things. My young girls are in softball these days and we have had all kind of things happen to us at the weekly games and yes, some of the parents get very angry, but it is just a game, the girls won't remember it tomorrow and it is not going to help them whatsoever in life to fight being thrown out of a game, being called out when they were safe. Nothing of these things matter, what matters is that they played safe, and had a good time doing it. Your MIL needs to take a chill pill, I would not have my children on her team, the coach is the one that needs to be calm, cool and collective, even if it was a bad call, they need to come back next week and make it better and be above the bad call and never look back. Life is too short to be concerned over a stupid rule that she needs proving. Good luck with her!
3 people like this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
11 Jun 07
In my book texas, team mom counts for a lot! Half the time we can't find a ref for our games, let alone someone who wants to be team mom! The sad part is that it just isn't my MIL who behaves this way. The attitude in their softball league just stinks, and it's why I won't let my girls be a part of it.
3 people like this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
12 Jun 07
LOL Thanks for this! I'm going to make copies of it and pass it out at our coaches picnic Wednesday night! It sooo fits!
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Your mil prob. did get too heated, a sickness is not always forseeable, and not always preventable. It's not the child's fault, nor is it the teams fault that their player got sick. Also, I'm sure your hubby was siding with your MIL more because it's his mother, than he thought she was right. Hopefully he'll reevaluate his motives, and realize that he's defending HER and not her actions. Maybe he felt you were attacking her, and therefore he felt he needed to defend her. (it's normal, we'd do the same for our own mothers). I think it's silly to get so upset over a game, in the grand scheme of things, it's not really important.
3 people like this
@creematee (2810)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I do think your MIL went a little too far. What would she have done if the tables were turned? Would she call for the out? Insist that they forfeit the game because of it? When I coached little league we were lucky to have 9 girls at any given game. (extremely small town!) We wouldn't have been able to play at all that summer if rules were bent a little.
3 people like this
@moomincat (321)
11 Jun 07
This is not a game that we play here. But just regarding the rules of a game, I think it is important to understand the procedures envolved in a game. You can always say if we were playing at competition level this wouldnt be acceptable but in this case we can make an exception. Its more important to acquire the skills with practice and promoting working together as a team.Which lets face it is why most of these games were devised in the first instance.I like board games and word games which I taught to my children. It wouldnt have made it enjoyable from the beginning if we had done it by the rule book. but now they beat me hands down.
3 people like this
@student7 (1002)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I think that your MIL did get way too upset about it. A sickness could not be prevented. In fact these sports are for the children to have fun and meet new people. The parents act as if there were recruiters there from the major leagues. The whole point of these leagues is just some fun and healthy competition. Also what is you MIL teaching her children when she gets upset about a little girl getting sick? If I were a child on her team, I would be scared of getting sick. I think that she did take it too far. I think that she just needs to sit and reflect on the main reason she is there. She is there for the kids and not on winning. I like your attitude with cheering on the other team. I like your attitude on winning and losing. I wish there were more parents like you out there. Good job.
3 people like this
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
11 Jun 07
Actually, I've seen parents like this at all kinds of sporting events and I've even seen parents physically attack each other over rules they thought were broken or umpires who they believed gave a bad call. Basically, it goes against all the things that children are supposed to learn from team sports which is cooperation, support and good sportsmanship. Since this is eleven year olds we are talking about, I think the umpire did the right thing. He gave the other girls the opportunity to help the sick girl out by taking her turn. I think this is a far more valuable lesson they learned from doing this than following the rules by the book. I hope this all blows over for their sake more than anyone else's.
@Marie2473 (8521)
• Sweden
11 Jun 07
Ido think that she is going to far with this. They ARE just kids and if one,is sick, why not let another one fill in for her. It is just a game and they are supposed to have fun no matter what. I think that she is overreacting
2 people like this
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I think that your mother in law is taking it too far. It is just a game and should be treated as such. Your mother in law isn't teaching the children good sportsmanship by acting this way. I guess it might be good to know exactly what the rules are for future information. Is she the type of person who follows the rules totally? Like obeying the speed limit and stuff? I am the type who points out to others that they sometimes bend the rules also. " People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
11 Jun 07
well no there is no point to it but boy parents get into such an uproar about the game some even think they are playing not the kids when parents do that . the kids sort of lose fun in the game! The parents work to hard at it for either they were good at it or they wanted to be and got beat all the time the parents need to sit back and let kids enjoy the game!
2 people like this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
12 Jun 07
I totally understand....remember the case of the mother who had the cheerleader killed because her daughter did not make the team.....to me this is the same mentality....I would not allow you MIL to coach one of my children if this is her way of thinking... I respect the way that you coach...your primary goal is geared toward the benefit of the children playing...teaching good team sportsmanship.... There should be no occasion for the coach of a child's team of any sport to behave in this manner....look at the underlying..in your face lesson she is teaching... I understand...they do too...they just will not admit that it is not about the children's welfare at all....whatever she claims...her actions are speaking loudly to me.... Sorry, my friend, I know that this puts you in a tough situation.......I know that you will make it through but I sympathize with your present situation.... Take care....PM me if you need to talk, Soccermom...
• United States
11 Jun 07
I'd say your MIL too things WAY too seriosuly. These 11 year olds are still kids, after all. If it were major league baseball, well that would be a different story. Just curious- what are the official pony league rules? Was your MIL right?
1 person likes this
@mamasan34 (6521)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I think your MIL really went too far with this. I would be hesitant to put my daughter on her softball team if this is the behavior she exhibits. Winning is not the most important part of childrens sports. The key is learning to work as a team and having fun and excercising. Not winning on a default or at any cost. What lesson is that teaching? I don't understand why your mother in law or your husband have such a hard time grasping this concept! The kid got sick, the umpire took pity on the team and made an executive decision, what's done is done and lets just move on! You are so right to hold your ground on this. Do not waver!
1 person likes this
@brothertuck (1257)
• United States
11 Jun 07
I grew up playing competitive sports. Football, baseball, basketball, street hockey. When I was of age to drink I continued with softball, pool and darts at bars and clubs. My dad was one of my coaches in little league football and baseball, and he grew up in a competitive family. It is something that has been our family my whole life and from my dad's life. My mom even was in competitive sports in High School. I think one problem today is that too many are living through their kids, if the kids win, they win, if the kids lose, they lose. Competitive has gone from winning with sportsmanship to winning at all costs, even rules lawyers, and downright cheating. Your MIL is one of those who only gets the satisfaction from winning. She will use the rule to try to get back that win. My dad knew the rules, but at the same time, he realized the kids came first. You were a coach, which includes teaching. Teaching how to win, how to lose, how to live as a good sport. But on the otherside, I see these small fry leagues where everyone plays so many minutes and the score doesn't matter. I think this is the other extreme. The kids need to know how to compete. The kids need to know that by winning you do get awarded. That is how life is. It's not just everyone gets equal and share alike. It's the one who performs gets a bigger cut. Either extreme is bad for the kids, they don't learn the important things. It's a tough world and you gotta be ready for it, but by cooperation and teamwork you get better reesults then by yourself.
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
12 Jun 07
lol---- ok- let me start off by saying I coached softball for 3 years- and this is my first year out- My sig. other brother and one of my best friends now coach my daughter in softball- I still actively help- but my daughter listens better when it's not me- My daughter also played soccer- I was a parent here- The difference between parents in soccer and softball was amazing- Yes alot of us were the same parents- but our mentality was totally different- Softball is a much rowdier sport- Parents get involved- yell- scream- complain- argue- Believe me I had to stop it many times being a coach- and still as a parent/helper- Why?? I'm not sure- I even get rowdier in softball then in soccer- Your MIL is correct- If a player has to leave the game for any reason- it is an automatic out for her- at least that is how it is here also- we let hospital visits slide though- lol.. Don't ask- I've gone to the ER at least 3 times this year with different girls- Our girls are 10-13. If it were my team I would have made them take the out also- You have to follow the rules- Kids should be taught this early on. But I wouldn't go so far as to file a grievance- let it go!!
• United States
11 Jun 07
well according to life nothing is too far.