Thursday, February 21, 2013

Youth Sports: Stupid Immature Parent

Crazy Youth Sports Parent Alert. You are not going to believe this one.

What do you think about the ACE cheer in girls volleyball?

If you have ever watched girls volleyball you know that, the players on the court form a circle and on girls on the bench stand up in a line and they all do a coordinated cheer after each service ACE. My daughter's team stomps their feet right, left, right three times while they spell out A-C-E. Then they lift their right leg, clap their hands under their leg and then immediately raise their hands upward while pointing their index finger.

I have to admit. The first time I witnessed the ACE cheer, I thought it was unsportsmanlike. I know that if a HS pitcher did a strike out cheer after each strike out, he would get a ball in the earhole during his next at bat. But after, seeing the cheer from almost every team, in every tournament, I now accept it as part of the game. I came to realize that the girls are celebrating an accomplishment, they are not celebrating the other team's failure.

Volleyball ACE Cheer
Last night, my daughter's CYO volleyball team was matched up against an inferior team who had a tremendous amount of trouble digging and passing serves. Our team is loaded with really strong servers who happen to hit the ball very hard and make the ball move side to side unexpectedly, much like a knuckleball in baseball.

In the first game, our girls recorded 13 aces and 13 cheers in a 15-2 rout. The line judge on our team's side of the court was the dad of one of the girls on the opposing team. His blood boiled with each cheer. After about 10 cheers, he had had enough and did his own cheer. He yelled out, "S-T-U-P-I-D Stupid."

What?!? That did not really just happen. What kind of example does that set for his girl, for any of the girls?

My wife, the assistant coach, confronted him immediately. She asked. "You didn't just call 6th grade girls stupid did you?" He gave her a mischievous smirk and said yeah. The head coach jumped up and had a few private words with this jerk. She let him know that they were not happy. My wife and the head coach decided against a request for a new judge because the game was so lopsided.

Later in the night, this jerk was watching one of our games against another team. He sat in the front row just a few feet from our servers. He was cheered several times M-I-S-S Miss. Unbelieveable.

The last game of the night, our team won 15-0 with 14 aces from our first server. The 7th ace, was a rocket that just cleared the net, then dove downward. The serve caught a girl right in the face and bloodied her nose. Our team did not cheer on that serve or any other one after that. There is a time to celebrate and a time to win quietly.

The Main Point

Don't be a jerk, especially at a Christian athletic event, because the dads in the stands who are far away from your antics might not be all knowing, but God is.

9 comments:

  1. Even after 5 years of being a travel soccer parent, I am still amazed at the terrible behavior of parents. And it is across all sports as recently evidenced at my son's first local karate tournament. A 6-year-old girl and her mom made it known to everyone that they were unhappy with her third place result. It's a shame the mom didn't appreciate her efforts and take the opportunity to teach her child about competition.

    I admit, I am competitive, but my daughter would be mortified if I ever acted badly...therapy for the rest of her life! :-)

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    1. Hopefully the discipline and self-control that kids learn from Karate will counter-act the faults of the mom.

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  2. I wonder if the game had been closer if that dad would have been cooler about it. No one likes to lose and 15-2 and 15-0 is quite a winning margin. I'm sure your team didn't mean any harm by it (especially if it's the norm at tournaments to do this cheer) but being on the losing side probably made this dad extra edgy (not that it excuses his behavior).

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    1. I hear you. I know I get a pit in my stomach when my kid's teams are getting thrashed. The other dynamic at play could have been that his daughter struggled more than anyone on the team when she even got to get on the court.

      Losing big, boastful cheering from opponents and a struggling daughter who got limited playing time - is enough to test a parent. Still, his immature behavior was inexcusable.

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  3. I'm not defending the dad but whatever happened to winning with grace? Ace cheers after 5-0 or 6-0 seem pretty classless to me.

    I'm not a volleyball parent, so maybe that's why I don't get the cheering. However, I do wonder why the guy was a line judge for a game his daughter was in. Is that typical of these tourneys? Seems like a recipe for disaster, whether the game is lopsided or not.

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    1. Parents or players typically do the line judging. There is an official standing on a ladder that can overrule the parent line judge. Each team supplies a line judge to keep it even

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  4. The ACE cheer is unsportsmanlike. Your initial gut reaction, like most gut reactions, is the right one.
    Ubiquity does not automatically transform it into appropriate behavior. What kind of a moral relativistic standard is that?

    If flipping the bird after an ace becomes "part of the game" have at kids! I have to question the coaches who would either actively encourage or passively allow such opprobrious conduct. As coaches we are supposed to be the grownups. You are a coach, teacher, and a role model for these kids for far more than just the technical aspects of the game. Whatever happened to teaching (yes, actually teaching) the kids to be magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat.

    it is easy to heap deserved scorn on the obviously inappropriate conduct of the ref/parent. He is, after all, an adult and should know better. But nothing happens in a vacuum and it is far harder to speak out about the atmosphere created at a youth sport event (6th graders no less) that fosters such a caustic environment.

    Until now I had never heard of the ACE cheer. I don't coach volleyball (i do coach soccer). i have been an athlete and involved in sports all my life as a coach, player, fan and parent. This simply stuns me. I do not care how common such an unsportsmanlike act becomes. I would never let my team (or my kids) play with such a lack of character and class.

    thank the almighty that cheering after a bloodied nose has yet to become "part of the game." What class and character your girls showed for showing such restraint.

    Bravo!

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    1. Thanks for adding to the conversation - all your points are valid.

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  5. Yes I agree, some adults can be immature and downright pathetic. Well it all depends with the personality and the discipline to stay cool! thanks for posting, this post is an eye-opener for adults to stay focused with how they react to situations because they need to act as role models for the youth.

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