An Appeal for Parents of Athletes: "The Benefit of the Doubt"
Updated: May 12, 2018
There are hundreds of children and teens who play soccer across the Greater Kings Mountain Area. As a seasoned youth soccer coach and (even more seasoned) parent, I have seen pride, anger, and resentment toward others rear it's head time and time again on the sidelines. I've been very fortunate to have experienced many seasons with some amazing parents. However, I've also seen some of the most respected community leaders and influencers lose control in moments of frustration. I've been there... Boiling inside because something wasn't run well enough, taught well enough, or organized well enough. Let's just be honest, we've all be there -- and sometimes, for good, warranted reason! It's frustrating when you don't feel communicated with or when you've miscommunicated to! Having lived in three different cities, I've experienced the high's and lows of multiple sports programs in action as both a parent and a coach.
The issue at hand isn't you or me being angry or frustrated, it's how we deal with that frustration and anger toward others.
Here's the main thing: The issue at hand isn't you or me being angry or frustrated, it's how we deal with that frustration and anger toward others. We have an opportunity to be beacons of light to our children -- and to other parents and coaches. What do I mean by "beacons of light"? This: Let’s be parents who set an example of honor and respect toward others and for our children. Let's defeat the darkness of hate and cruelty with the strength of kindness, the bond of love, the service in humility, and the patience in grace. Join me, my wife, and others in this "Benefit of the Doubt" Movement toward coaches, local leagues, and fellow parents by reading and signing the commitment below. Let's be part of this culture change together.
As a parent/guardian or grandparent of a child who plays soccer and/or other sports, I will do my best to:
Honor and encourage coaches.
Be a humble servant to the team and as best I can, in my community.
Reinforce and demonstrate respect to my child in a firm and yet non-harsh way.
Value and respect coaches regardless of rather or not they disagree with me or if they make a decision I don’t like.
Give people the benefit of the doubt by avoiding slander and gossip at the expense of harming their character and reputation.
Show kindness to other parents regardless of the actions of their child on or off the field.
Maintain an overall positive attitude especially when observing from the sidelines, bleachers, or stands.
Deal with conflict with other parent(s) or coach(es) in a private and appropriate manner and not in public view.
Recognize that my child is not entitled to play every minute of every game OR have a role on the team if they are consistently disobedient and/or disrespectful.
Recognize that sports aren’t everything and that my child will have bad days and experience loss and defeat.
Recognize that organized sports are a privilege and not available or accessible to millions of people across the world.
Be part of the change.
Tyler, his wife Lesley and their three kids Addison, Eli, and Henry reside in Kings Mountain, NC. Tyler is the Executive Director at Kings Mountain Soccer Club, business owner at J. Tyler Deaton Creative Services and works full time with a church planting network called Acts 29. Tyler enjoys soccer and loves seeing young players develop and partnerships strengthen between coaches, parents, and the wider community. You can follow or connect with Tyler on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram as well as contact him via email at email@example.com.