A View from the Cheap Seats

20 Apr

This spring has brought something to the Wike family that we knew would come someday . . . Krissy’s LAST season of softball (sniffle sniffle). She has played softball for eight or so years now, has pitched for six of them, and it all comes to a close in a few weeks. The regular season for the West Florence Lady Knights is almost over, and tomorrow night we play a regular season game that will determine whether or not we go to the playoffs. And it is senior night. No pressure.

Like most dads and a few of the moms, I sit in the bleachers for every game. The coach in me would LOVE to give a pre-game motivation to them. The jock in me would love to somehow make a difference (although girls softball was NOT one of the four sports I played in high school many moons ago).

This year has been a tough year. We were picked to finish near the top of our region, and the season just hasn’t panned out that way. We’ve been caught in the quicksand trap of errors, had nights when we just could not hit the ball, and our record is marginal at best. And I think I know why. And, as a former high school coach and one who has played on many teams, this is a killer . . . We are not gelling as a team. We are not playing together.

Some choose to blame our coaches. Some sit and criticize EVERY MOVE they make. If coaches have the batters swinging away, they should be BUNTING. If they have them bunting, they should be SWINGING AWAY. No matter WHAT the coaches do, it is wrong. Attitudes among a few of the parents are ROTTEN, and this is factoring down onto the field.

Yep. I said it. A large contributor to our problems on the field this year comes from the parents. Bad attitudes that filter down onto the field. The reason our team is not playing together is that some have no faith in what our coaches are trying to do. They are NOT PERFECT. They might not do things the way others would do them. In fact, NO ONE would satisfy some of these folks unless THEY were coaching themselves.

And knowing some of our parents, I might get cussed out for writing this. And I don’t care. They will stand before God just like I will one day and we will ALL answer for our lives.

Some will recognize this as truth. Some will never admit it. Some will go on thinking that their daughters should be playing at this spot, batting in that spot, and if things are not just as they think they should be they will continue to fuss. To undermine. To write emails to our principal and to our athletic director. To second guess EVERY CALL made by the coaches. They do not realize the damage they are doing to their kids!!

As a pastor, I deal with the other side of this. With young adults who CANNOT FUNCTION in life because their parents continually bail them out of everything they get themselves into. Most of those adults wind up in and out of trouble for their entire lives!!! And it all goes back to parents who did not equip them to survive in life!

And part of that is allowing their kids to earn their spots, to play ball and function independently. To start growing up.

Yep, it will be a sad day for this dad when Krissy turns her uniform in. But I will tell you two things:

1) I thank God that we have coaches who have CHARACTER, and that is exactly what we have with Denise, Herb, Colleen, and Amanda. That is unquestionable.

2) I am glad my daughter will walk off that field and be better prepared for life, because Diana and I have allowed HER to earn her spot, to fight her own battles. And Denise has really helped her learn that (and again, I am thankful).

PS – You can post responses, but if they are anonymous or trash WF in any way, I won’t be posting them!!!

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