Wednesday, August 09, 2006

i'd rather be a circle

at football practice the other day i asked the coach if blake could wear his game day pants, instead of practice pants. i hadn't bought the practice pants yet (to which one of the mom's looked at me with horror and acted like a total bitch). he said i could, but only if i wanted him to get teased and be nicknamed "goldie" all season.

see what i'm talking about? in the post i wrote earlier. do you think kids would even care that blake's pants were a different color than their own if we didn't encourage them to notice the difference? would his teammates really start calling him "goldie" if the parents/coaches didn't think it was okay? i bet the coaches would be the ones who start the nickname. and then the kids would follow. why is that okay? why is teasing a teammate an alright thing to do? how does that encourage togetherness and teamwork? the power of your words. ALL of your words. why don't people think?

baseball isn't like this. the mentality between baseball and football are completely different. blake is a really sweet and sensitive kid. i'd find it hard to believe that he'd be calling one of his teammates a name just because something about them was different. and you know what? if i saw or heard him doing it, he'd get in trouble at home. because i'm trying to teach him to be aware of how his words and actions affect people. i'm not teaching him to be a pussy and let kids walk all over him. i fully believe in being a jerk to someone when it's warranted. and to defend yourself. but for no reason? or because everyone else is doing it? no. not okay. think for yourself. i encourage him to BE DIFFERENT, not make fun of those who are. i encourage him to stick up for the little guy, because if that little guy was you, wouldn't you want someone to stick up for you?

words are powerful. especially when you're saying them to a bunch of kids who look up to you, or actually listen to what you say. you are influencing them and helping shape them. and i'm not sure i want blake shaped that way.

26 comments:

Melissa said...

Ha I am number one comment. Ha.

Jenn, that super sucks. I think it is great that you are teaching your son to be a great guy. One day some woman will thank you for it. I promise, cause I thanked Nick's mom on the day that I married him.

Stupid ass coaches. This kind of crap is why football gets a bad wrap.

Stephanie A. said...

I feel like there's this attitude to pick on other kids in organized sports, especially football. It really sucks when it starts with the coach.

If someone's (including the coach) going to pick on him for wearing gold pants, then I think Blake should say, "It's better than being picked on for being a real fucking dumbass." OK, you may want to clean it up a bit, but you get my drift. And seriously, the color of his pants? I WISH that's what kids had teased me about in school.

Mocha said...

I'm mortified and disgusted. You are very right in your assumption that the coaches will start it all. That's something I take very VERY seriously as a teacher. My words can be daggers, but it's not my right to draw blood.

Bring this up to the coach. You did so very eloquently.

Meg said...

Damn. Too bad you've already paid the money for him to be on that team. I'd tell you to find a different one with coaches who actually give a damn about the kids.

I understand a lot of that is the "macho man football mentality", but with kids as young as Blake, they need to have fun and build confidence. Leave the name calling and asshole coaches to the high school teams!

spidey said...

Totally agree. I was always friends with the kids that people were mean to in elementary school--the slow kids, the poor kids, etc. I wish I was still so nice now. :)

alison said...

Nick isn't old enough to participate in football yet, but I've seen practices at our local school when we're there just playing on the playground. The way the coaches talk to these LITTLE boys is so terrible---and the coaches get SO bent out of shape if the poor kid isn't doing something right. I guess I'm misunderstanding what "practice" is all about? Anyway, of course not all football coaches are this way, but I have noticed that they seem to be a little more hardcore than baseball and soccer. You have the right attitude though---tell the coach what you think if he's being an ass.

Becky said...

i totally agree. he is such a sweet, big hearted little boy and that sucks that he would be teased. i hate that kids are like that. it sucks.

Piece of Work said...

The hell? It matters what *pants* they wear?? Good. Grief.

Jennster, I wish you were my kids' mom sometimes. From them they could learn how to be positive, outgoing and fearless, 3 traits their own mother severely lacks.

Lisa said...

Seth is sweet and sensitive too. And I'm thinking just because of that comment and the caveman mentality that we'll just steer clear of that sport.

Kristen said...

Seriously, people say kids can be mean, but they learn it from their parents. You keep right on teaching him the things these other asshole parents should be teaching THIER kids.

Mommy off the Record said...

Coaches can be some of the meanest people. I swear, I used to ref soccer and I almost had a coach make ME cry when he yelled at me for a "bad call" at a soccer match of FIVE-year-olds.

Anyway, you are right to be wary of these guys and how they treat the kids. Lucky for Blake that he has a nice mama that will counteract those bad influences.

Shame on those coaches. Aren't these guys grown men?

coffeygirlb said...

People suck, and again it's probably the stupid ass parents fault. Let him be goldie. If he dosen't care then fuckem! OOh, I'm scared for those little punks when i have kids... I probably be arrested.

Jodi said...

WEll, HMPF. that just sounds sucky. And that coach is not encouraging good sportmanship or acceptance either one. What IF you simply couldn't afford the right pants? I am sure there are kids out there like that, who want to play but whose parents can't afford the right clothing. So, what, they shouldn't play cuz they don't have the right PANTS? GOOD LORD. That is STUPID. STUPID.

russ said...

oh yeah. he'd be goldie

the pants are supposed to remain nice until game day

everyone wants to hit goldie harder than the rest

Jenn said...

Football is like that though. And it gets worse as they grow up. And college ball? forget it! The coach is tough on them, and makes fun of them, and WANTS the other players to do the same. I don't think it's right either....but I think you'd be hard pressed to find a football team that doesn't do it.

My brother got his nickname that he uses to this day from peewee football. Dizzy. It's been shortened to Diz now. Cause at the time he couldn't remember which way to run, and he would get confused and sometimes run the wrong way. He had some learning disabilities, still does I guess, nothing major but he had some dislexia issues and stuff like that, so I guess it was a bit harder for him. But anyway, do you think the other kids gave him that nickname? No. It was the coach. Nice right?

Island Girl said...

That coach sounds like the jerk of a coach my son has last year for football. It is the very reason he isn't playing with the organization this year. UGH. Idiot. I am sorry to hear you and your son have to deal with this crap.

Nikki said...

Fucking asshole coach.

There's alot I would like to say here, but I leave it at...

Fucking asshole coach.

Amy said...

That is absolute b.s. - that is why I pulled my son out of little league. Over zealous parents, freak-o coaches.
I haven't seen anything like that in Cross Country, thank goodness.

Miss Britt said...

My son is not really sweet and sensitive, but he refuses to bend to social norms. (and he's six - so he doesn't call it that, he just doesn't give a rat's ass)

But as his mom I am afraid for him because... really... yes, kids will probably call him goldie. With or without prompting from the coach. I was so surprised when my son started kindergarten to learn how mean kids can be.

BUT - as a high school coach myself - I am a firm believer that while kids are mean, it is an adults job to put an end to that crap. And not by making everyone adapt to it.

Izzy said...

Oh honey...I so feel you. We really are cut from the same cloth. And you're so right. The kids probably would give a crap who wears what pants if the coach didn't make a thing about it. Asshole.

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

(Am I the only guy here??)

O.K. so that coach -- if he lets the other kids do that, he's enabling.
That's your problem. It's the a-hole.

As for boy's -- of course they'll say names, pick on the different kid, etc.
It's how the adults react to it that makes them continue or stop.

Kids learn from the adults-duh!

carrie said...

I agree with you 100%, I think this is exactly why my boys are in soccer, instead of football at this age.

Just keep being the great mom that you are with Blake though, and he'll see through all that crapola!

Carrie

Angry Dad said...

Amen Sista.

CAT said...

Ryan is playing football this yr, his first yr ever---and it is true-you get ridden harder in this sport than any other sport. Even by the adults/coaches. It is stupid and totally not right but it happens everywhere. I can't wait for football to be over and basketball to begin.

Virginia Belle said...

ster, you are so freakin smart.

like a buddha.

i bow before my sensei.

*bows*

when i have a kid, will you be my mom coach?

seriously, that coach sucks. what kind of a leader is HE? it's not like they are going to get little league champ gold rings! or a 2.3 million dollar/year contract to play for the steelers. it's just for FUN. he needs to realize that he has the power to make it a great, fun experience for the kids, or something that is ugly and divisive. as if kids aren't already picked on in school, now they have to worry about it on the field. that's rough.

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