I have written in the past about parents and how busy they are chasing their son or daughter around to sporting activities and other events. To expound on that a bit further, I would like to offer up some schools of thought relating to this, along with the demands we then place on those youth as parents, coaches, teachers and on and on.
I witnessed some fans at college and high school sporting events recently and although I have not been to a junior high or grade school event lately, I bet it happens at those as well. What I am talking about is fans screaming and yelling at officials, coaches and then at players when something does not go the way they wanted it to go. It is never right or acceptable, but coaches and officials are adults and probably can handle it a bit better than those young men and women in the arena.
It seems there is getting to be more and more pressure on these young people to win, but even more so to be perfect or the best at everything they do. If they are going to spend all the time and effort to have these youths get better at their craft, then by god, they better not mess up and or make a mistake.
The fans seem to think paying to get into an event gives them the right to say, do and act as though they own the arena. Some are former athletes who say stuff to current athletes that they have no business saying unless it is positive.
This is not to say there should never be pressure put on these athletes. Another way to look at it: Pressure is what cuts diamonds or also bursts pipes.
I recently told my son I was going to put some pressure on him to help him succeed and that he needed to try harder to do what he was attempting. It did not happen, but I told him I wasn’t upset with him but rather I am trying to help him. The most important part of that is remembering it is what he wants, not what I want.
There is good pressure and good expectations and those are the ones that do not cross the lines of preparing these young people for their futures. This pressure cuts diamonds. The expectations and pressure from outside forces and obnoxious fans is that which might burst pipes.
If we are putting on the pressure, hopefully we are in the diamond-making business.
Sahli is a longtime West Fargo resident, parent, coach, outdoor enthusiast, and former columnist for NDSU Bison athletics in various publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments and ideas.