I have reached that point in the year where I walk outside, shiver, and yearn for warmer days. I know they’re coming, and along with them will be spring blooms, birds, bees….and baseball. I’m not talking about professional baseball. I’m an Astros fan, and we aren’t even going there. Spring always makes me think of softball leagues, little boys playing T-ball, and bigger kids playing high school ball. I love the ballpark.
My Wes umpires softball in his “spare time,” and I sometimes get to ride to games with him and watch. The first time I did this, it was odd for me to sit in the stands without cheering for a specific team. I was pretty sure I would get weird looks if I were to cheer for the umpire. So, I just sat and watched. It did, however, make me think. As I sat there listening to fans love his calls or hate his calls, I wondered how many times I had been guilty of thinking I knew better than the umpire. I know Wes and I have both laughed about how much we “thought” we knew about volleyball until we became referees!
Whether you are parents or grandparents watching games this season, I encourage you to remember a few things. We hope kids learn good sportsmanship. Just remember, you are also teaching your children and grandchildren about sportsmanship by how you react during and after games. There will come a day they may act the same way. Would it make you proud? The other thing to remember is there are others in the stands affected by your words and actions. It may be the mother or grandmother of the kid who isn’t quite as athletic as yours. If you groan aloud when that child strikes out, you may be wrecking that child’s self-confidence for the rest of the season…or pushing them toward not participating at all–not to mention the hurt you cause their family members. And, if you yell at the ump that he needs his eyes checked or he’s dumb – remember his family might be sitting next to you, too.
I recently saw a social media post that resonated with me (and I hope you as well). Remember when shopping that it’s not the national chain stores that support your child’s little league team – it’s your local businesses. And the same goes for Postcards. We are here because of the advertisers in these pages. Please let them know you appreciate them.
See you at the diamond,