Has it REALLY Come to THIS???
They had an article in our paper today that some areas are instituting something called Silent Saturday. No it is not religious. It has to do with not being able to coach or cheer from the sidelines of the Soccer field. All parents and coaches must stay silent, although the coach is allowed to place kids. They can’t yell at a kid across the field picking daisies to look alive because the ball is right there. They can’t holler at the kid running the wrong way with the ball… reminding them what team they’re on and what goal to kick it in. They can’t cheer when a kid makes a good play or kicks a goal. They can’t remind the goalie to pay attention and quit trying to hang themselves in the goal net. Nope. None.
I realize where they’re coming from. I’ve heard about rude parents, but this one area down near Lauderdale that instituted this new policy, didn’t have that problem. The new guy who came from an area that already had Silent Saturday, just placed it.
I hope they don’t place that policy down here. Soccer ended this past Saturday. Trust me, there was not a happier parent than I that it is finally over, but in the area where my kids play soccer, there is no nastiness. The parents are into the games and we cheer for either team as they make a goal or a great play. All the coaches carry on afterwards saying, “Did y’all have fun?!” There's one coach gets the jerseys of all the kids and they decorate them with their names and stars and stuff. Then there's another coach always makes special head bands for all his kids out of bandanas. These are great great guys. You should see them huddled with the 5 year olds, sitting on the ground Indian style, goofing off about the game… these coaches are really into kids, as they must be because if you have not watched 5 and 6 year olds play soccer… you have missed out on a real treat. And let me say, it is really only the treat the first two games, after that it is boring as hell.
The kids thrive on positive reinforcement. If we were all forced to sit on the sidelines and say NOTHING, I have a feeling the kids would not have the same energy they have now. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not one of those that cheers constantly. As a matter of fact, I’m the type of Mom that brings a good book and reads when my kid isn’t playing and sometimes even when he is; however, I’m also the Mom that finds herself having to cup her hands around her mouth and say, “Son, which way are you running? Which goal do you want to kick into?” just to remind him. Or better yet when he’s goalie, “Hey! Little buddy, here comes the ball. Wake up!” Or even, “Bones! (That’s his nickname) Try kicking the ball!” as he hippety skippety crosses the field.
On our team of 9 kids, there were 2 boys and 3 girls consistently focused. The other 4… not so much. And this was a good year. One year, we had a team where we had 2 out of 9 kids who really wanted to play. The other 7 wanted to look for lady bugs in the grass or stop mid-game and braid each other’s hair. Nobody is yelling and screaming at the kids… they’re young, but I will say, there is a lot of positive encouragement from the sidelines. It keeps the kids focused and reminds them what they’re there for… to have a good time AND play the game. And let me tell you when it’s a really good thing... occasionally you’ll get a 5-6 year old team that is stacked with kids whose Dad’s used to play soccer in S. America, I’m talking all pro types. These kids were born with soccer balls in their hands. Trust me, when the average team plays a stacked team, it takes A LOT of encouragement from the parents and coaches on the way way losing team to keep those kids motivated. Even young kids don’t like to feel like they’re being slaughtered in a game.
So I am hoping they don’t institute Silent Saturday even though I am in fact one of those silent Moms that prefers to read.