Sports Love & family

Learning Life's Lessons through Sports

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Staying Positive When There’s So Much Negative: Part III

This is probably the toughest one to write in the series. No one wants to see their child or another child being mistreated. It’s also hard to look back at a situation and see all the times you could’ve done or said something differently. I’m hopeful that this post will inspire someone, even if it’s just one person, to speak up in an awkward situation.

Here’s a little backstory. A few years ago we had a coach with the wrong goals in mind. You’re NOT a good coach when winning is more important than the physical and emotional welfare of your players. This person didn’t turn out to be what a coach should be, but I didn’t always feel that way. I thought they were knowledgeable and a nice person, and would be a good coach. All of this being said, I still had some concerns due to their intensity on the sideline. Note to self (and others) if there’s a parent on the sideline who is so intense you can’t stand sitting near them, don’t let them coach your kid! That intensity doesn’t go away, it only gets worse when given a position of power or authority.

At first things seemed fine. But, then we would stay at practice and witness the tone and words being spoken to the players. Certainly, not how I or Todd would deliver a message but it was only a little yelling and maybe some berating. It’s ok for kids to be exposed to that, right? Wrong, we were so wrong to let this go on. If it doesn’t feel right in your gut, do something about it. We didn’t. We thought handling the situation with our own child was the best way to handle it at the time. After each practice when our player was upset about what was yelled at them at practice or how they were treated, we discussed coping mechanisms. We discussed “the message” that was being yelled, not the delivery of the message. We thought having these conversations with our child was going to make them stronger and more adept at dealing with tough situations. We thought at the time we did what we were suppose to do and we thought we handled it well. We didn’t. Looking back at the situation we feel that having those discussions with our player were valid, but something more should’ve be done.

We let our feelings for this coach get in the way of our judgement for our child and other children. We justified situations that arose because we liked this person. I’ll be the first to admit, we were blinded by friendship and that betrayed our child. Let me be clear, I’m not advocating that if you don’t like a coach or you don’t like their coaching style that you should have them removed or that you should go to the governing body of that sport. What I’m talking about is abuse, mental or physical, either way, it’s unacceptable in the youth sports arena and should not be tolerated.

This situation was a turning point for me and my behavior. It made me step back and realize how I wanted my children to see me at their events. After living this situation I became a more silent supporter of my children. This is why I encouage you to take a look around at your kids next game. Evaluate other parents behaviors. It will make you see how you want to be. And, if a situation doesn’t feel right, say something. We teach this practice to our children, there’s no reason we shouldn’t do the same.

This is a good article with tips for dealing with a tough coach. We did some of things in here. All ok if the coach is not being abusive.

This article is great if you’re struggling to know if you’re dealing with a bad coach. Our coach fell into these categories.

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Sports Vacations, Pick #1: Louisville, KY

By now you’ve probably figured out we love and live sports. Why wouldn’t our vacations be the same? It’s not like we’re always jet setting some where, who has time when your kids play every season! But, we do like little get aways and they usually involve sports. We’ve put together a list of our favorite sports vacations to start a new blog series.

One of our most favorite trips was to Louisville, Kentucky. Friends of ours went and told us that we needed to go because we love baseball, so we planned a trip over spring break.

Getting there was easy, it was just over a five hour drive. We stayed in Downtown Louisville so as to be by all the attractions we wanted to see. The first thing we did was walk around the city. We were impressed with it’s cleanliness and walkability. It’s not a giant city so most things were within walking distance, or short drives. Many of the areas we were in are historic and well preserved…and super cute! Funny eye-candy if you’re into that!

Baseball was our main reason for this trip, but our first attraction was Churchill Downs. We had a tour of the grounds and walked the museum on our own. Churchill Downs itself is gorgeous, did you know the original structure dates back to 1875? You could feel the history there. It’s so much bigger than I expected. We were there a little before the horses begin their races so there weren’t very many roaming around. To my surprise, our kids really enjoyed it. There was a really nice kids area that they loved.

Our next stop was the Louisville Slugger Museum…or as we call it, our heaven.  I’m not sure who of the five of us enjoyed it more, we all had a blast. It’s a small museum and seems like you should be able to get through in about two hours, but our family ended up staying for hours! We of course, took the bat factory tour. It was so cool seeing how they make bats and the history of the process. Because of the time of year we went it was neat to see all the major league player orders being fulfilled. They also had on display the bats from the Indians and the Cubs since they were the last teams in the World Series. We loved seeing that! I’m pretty sure we read each sign, took pictures with each statue and got up close and personal with all the memorabilia. Braeden even got in the batting cage to swing a wood bat for the first time.

While we were there one of the displays was a traveling Lego display. Each was an amazing work of art. We also got to see up close what it’s like to see a 90 mph fast ball, it’s insane that anyone hits that! After we saw every square inch of the factory and museum we spent more time in the store. We couldn’t leave empty-handed! Each kid got a gift, the boys got wood bats and Bailey got a sweatshirt. We got a custom engraved bat for our family that says “Family First, Baseball Second”. Pretty much our motto.

While in town we walked past the KFC Yum Center and took pictures in front of it. We also ventured by the Louisville Bats stadium; we would’ve went to a game but they were out of town. It wouldn’t be a family vacation of ours if we didn’t see a baseball game, so, we went to see the University of Louisville Cardinals play. It was really exciting because while we were there, they were ranked number one and playing really well (they finished #5). We drove around campus first to take it all in. It’s a very nice campus. Then we went to the baseball game. The stadium was so nice, it was like being at a minor league game. It was still pretty cold, but thankfully we’re used to watching games like that!

We packed in a lot of sights|sites in just a couple of days. It was a great sports-family get-away that we would recommend to anyone! Let us know your favorite sports destinations, we’re always looking for more places to visit! Our next pick features a very famous baseball player…stay tuned.