Friday, November 7, 2014
Grrrrrr.....(by Coach Ryan)
As our Kansas City-based family enjoyed watching the Royals go on their improbable run through the MLB playoffs during the month of October, there was one aspect of the experience that was troubling. One of my sons would watch nearly every pitch of every game, and seemed to live and die with every at-bat, every ball/strike call and certainly with the outcome of every game. Fortunately for us, the Royals put together an 11-4 record in the postseason, so despite losing the last game of the World Series, there was far more winning than losing going on.
But every time a pitch was called a strike against the Royals, especially if it would land outside the computerized strike zone graphic, my son would rage. He would be spitting mad, usually multiple times every inning. If a Royals player made a mistake, he was "terrible" or "an idiot". Attempts at calming the kid down were typically met with defensiveness. He didn't want to hear it.
I understand that sometimes people react emotionally when their team loses or is on the wrong end of a bad call, but having all this going on while we were watching the games wasn't great. First, it made me wish my son could enjoy watching his favorite baseball team make a run through the playoffs more. I guess maybe different people enjoy things differently, but it was hard to see him get so upset about things he obviously had no control over. Where did he learn that? Why did it matter to him in a way that affected him so dramatically? I'm not sure I'll ever know.
After the end of game 7, after the Royals fell by a 3-2 score, he was really upset. I gave him a hug and said that my hope for him would be that he could learn to enjoy things that were meant to be enjoyed. He responded with, "you mean, like losing?" I said, "no, like baseball."
You can do whatever you want, but for me, I really do hope that all my children can learn to enjoy and appreciate the sports they watch (and play), without letting them affect their outlook on life or their own self-image. Anything else can be a dangerous, and not very fun road to travel, both for them and the people closest to them as well.