Perhaps this may come across as petty.
In our inaugural soccer season we've developed a severe case of spectator spite.
On Saturday mornings we listen as parents (grandparents, aunts, neighbors, siblings, and friends) shout orders, direct plays, give instructions, and groan from the side line. It is simply irritating! The frustrated 5 year olds have no idea who to listen to - the coach or the entire sideline of "assistant coaches." They sulk off the field wondering why everyone is shouting at them and about them. Their unspoken nerves play across their expressions. Why are people they don't even know using their names? Why is the dad who is never even at dinner directing from the sideline?
"Keep your eye on the ball!" "Watch the goal!" "Run faster." "Get up off the grass." "Watch where you're going." "Don't touch the ball!" "Did you see that? They just scored because you were playing with your shin guards!" ...
UGH! What exactly are their expectations after three weeks of play? Are the adults that fiercely competitive? These same spectators will probably be the ones left cluelessly questioning when their little ones decide they don't really want to play soccer anymore because "it's too hard" and "it's not as fun as I thought it would be."
It's a bit hard not to take it personally. Are they frustrated with their children and their attempts on the field, or do they think we've dropped the ball on our coaching responsibilities? We are trying to teach them the basics or recreation, teamwork, and sportsmanship.
We love cheering. The kids love excitement. It's great to hear words of affirmation for ALL of our players from our audience. They are only 5! I even think clapping when the other team scores is warranted. They are just learning. It is supposed to be fun.
This is our first experience with our own child in an organized sport. Please do tell, is this the norm? Note to us: Next year, when we are NOT coaching we will be complimentary of the coaches and control our sideline comments.