The Matheny Manifesto: How Parents are Ruining Youth Sports

This post was inspired by The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny. St. Louis Cardinals manager Matheny shares his tough-love philosophy for children’s team sports that translate to everyday life. Join From Left to Write on February 12th as we discuss The Matheny Manifesto. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

TheMathenyManifesto

I know that my title seems a bit harsh, but I think it is 100% true. I am not saying that ALL parents are ruining youth sports, but I think a large amount of parents are doing more harm than good when it comes to youth sports.

“That set the tone for hockey. Every game we went to, parents were yelling. They yelled at their own kids. They yelled at the other team. They yelled at the coaches. They yelled at the referees. I wanted nothing to do with all of that.”

-The Matheny Manifesto

Nick and I used to always joke around (prior to having children) that if our children played organized sports that I wouldn’t be allowed to attend any games because I have a short temper and a loud mouth.  Now that we have one child and another on the way my opinions have vastly changed. Part of my opinions had changed because of how I felt about being a parent, but there is a part of my mind that has been changed because of this book.

Growing up I played soccer in the fall, spring, and summer. Practices were attended by parents, but the basically associated with each other, and weren’t scrutinizing the coaches. During games they would cheer, but I don’t remember much booing or yelling. Now, our soccer team wasn’t exactly state competition level, but my sister was on the Field Hockey team that won states year after year, in fact they won all 4 years that I was in high school. I wasn’t at the practices, but I went to a fair amount of home games and I remember cheering and encouragement from parents, but again, not really a lot of yelling.

In between being in youth and teen sports and becoming a parent I feel like SO MUCH has changed. I have witnessed parents screaming and yelling at other parents, players, umps, refs, etc… at games AND practices. What’s just as bad is the parent who singles out their child shouting words of encouragement during a game or practice. These types of behaviors make the child feel incredible amounts of pressure to perform and succeed, and if they don’t…I can’t imagine how they would feel, probably like they let down not only the coach and the team but their parent(s) as well.

I think there are other factors at play as well, and Matheny talks about these in length in his book, one of the major ones is parents going behind the childs back and asking the coach “why isn’t my child playing this position?”, “why isn’t my child a starter?”, “why doesn’t my child get as much playing time as x,y, and z?” “my son/daughter is the best, why do you let the other kids hit so much?”, you get the idea. If we want our kids to respect coaches and figures of authority then as parents we also need to do that. Our actions speak much louder than our words, and frankly I would be mortified if I found out my parents spoke to my coach like that behind my back.

Another factor is trying to make your child a one sport superstar when they are very young. I have always said I would let my child do what ever they want to do, and if they didn’t like it then they would finish out the season, out of respect to their teammates, but they don’t have to go back to the sport or activity. On the flip side, parents see that their child is excelling at one activity and they push them to become better, even to the point of burn out. A lot of professional athletes participated in multiple sports, even in high school, and it helped them not burn out and to become great team players.

I am not saying I am the perfect parent, and I have it all figured out. I have a hard time observing from the sidelines during B’s soccer and swim practices and not saying “you’re doing great” and other encouraging behavior. I know that I do need to real it in especially if my children want to participate in youth sports in the future.

The best thing I can do for my children? Be 100% supportive, respect the coach, teammates and other parents. Let my children have fun and enjoy what they are doing.

If you have a child in youth sports, I highly recommend reading this book!

Do you agree or disagree, are parents ruining youth sports?

Pin It Party #3

 

 

 

I know technically it is the fourth Pin It Party, but I didn’t participate in the very first one, so this is my third. Thanks to Lindsay for hosting this wonderful round-up, I hope you find a post you love while you are here! You can check my first and second posts if you have the time.

550x550xpin-it-party.jpg.pagespeed.ic.G_lk4frwus

 

So what is a Pin It Party? I share five of my favorite pin worthy posts with you, and link up on Lindsay’s blog. Once you write a post make sure you pin 5 blogs posts to support your fellow bloggers! Click on the photos to get to the post.

1. Toddler Time Workout

photo 4

A quick and sweaty workout at home!

2. Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Koulourakia

IMG_3803.JPGMy favorite Greek Christmas cookie

3. Stocking Stuffer Guide for the Host

cookingcollage

I know the holidays are over, but these are fun gifts to keep in your back pocket when you need to give a gift to someone who loves to cook, bake, host or all of the above. All of these items are under $20 so it won’t break the bank either!

4. My Favorite Books of 2013

FIOScover

I made reading more of a priority in 2013 and I picked 5 books that I read that I absolutely loved.

5. Cold Weather Necessities

Cold Weather Necissites.jpg

I have extremely dry skin, couple that with this dry winter air and the coldness of the polar vortex? I have been employing every strategy possible to keep my skin from cracking and bleeding.

My Favorite Books of 2013!

Since I joined From Left to Write I had the opportunity and push to read many more books than I did in 2012. Reading is something that I have loved since I was a kid. I used to go through a book a week when I was in school, I loved getting lost in the stories and worlds that books offered. I also loved reading true stories or books about real life events.

I picked my favorite 5 books that I read in 2013. In no particular order, disclaimer all links are amazon affiliate links.

bossypants

Bossypants by Tina Fey. I love Tina Fey, I have always loved her style of comedy, and this book is no different. I literally found myself reading late at night trying to stifle the sounds of my laughter because I didn’t want to wake Nick.

Mother-Mother-by-Koren-Zailckas-202x300

Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas. I wrote about this book and my thoughts on what makes you a parent. While my feelings on that haven’t changed, I really truly believe this is a captivating book that everyone should read.

gonegirl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which being made into a movie (and I love love the casting). This is one of those books you either love or hate. I loved it, it sucked me in and I read it in about 3 nights. I love suspense filled books, I also that Gillian Flynn’s writing was wonderful, I need to read her other books!

Reasons Mommy Drinks

Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin-Evans and Fiona Stevenson. I reviewed this book as well, but I think it is one of those books every new mom should read (even if you don’t drink). I think that sometimes we get caught up in the perception of being the perfect mom or our kid being in the same place as other people’s children that we forget we have children and they are all different and unpredictable. This book (and their blog) puts all of that back into perspective. Also, I laughed, a lot.

FIOScover

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is my fifth book. I actually put off reading this for a long time. I knew that it was going to be a sad book and I just wasn’t sure I was ready for it. The thing is even though it was sad, the storytelling was incredibly beautiful. Again, I couldn’t put this book down. I am actually really looking forward to this movie, I can’t wait to see how they put the book into a movie.

What were your favorite books of 2013?

The Funeral Dress: Thoughts on Motherhood

From Left to Write is an online book club where the members create a virtual discussion about the book and how it relates to their lives. I love the concept of this for a few reasons. It takes the school concept of a book report out of the equation completely and it gives readers who haven’t read the book a way to relate to the topics portrayed within the book.

The first book we read for October was The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore.

The-Funeral-Dress-by-Susan-Gregg-Gilmore-194x300

There are so many themes I can touch on in this book that relate to my life. Miscarriage and finding your real family are two of the big themes in this book, but I have decided to talk more about preparing for dealing with hard moments in motherhood, not because I don’t want to talk about those topics, but I still find them a little bit difficult.

You can read all the books, watch all the movies, and talk to all the other parents in the world. But you still will never be 100% prepared for what motherhood (or fatherhood) has in store for you. Some people have it “easy” with their children. They aren’t fussy at night, every transition is easy (bottles, potty training, big kid beds).

I was getting increasingly frustrated with some of the characters in the book, even though Emmalee was considered a young mother, her struggles are ones that a lot of women have. Struggling with things like breastfeeding, finding her way as a mom, and learning to have a balance in life.

Some moms excel at the baby stage, but it is also very normal to feel uncomfortable and to struggle with the baby stage. Just as some women excel in the toddler or teen stages, other women feel like they are barely making it.

I think as moms instead of playing the compare game or judging other moms we just need to be supportive. We don’t know how hard it is for another mom in that moment. Recently, I was at an open shopping area that has a play area with B and another toddler was whining for her mom to give her something. The mom said no and another woman nearby said “I don’t understand why she just doesn’t give her what she wants”. Statements like these are not helpful to anyone. What if the toddler wanted something she was allergic too? We don’t know the full story and instead of making a snippy comment, understand or even remember that raising children has hard moments, and some of those moments are in public.

For the women who have to go through these moments in public, remember that parenting is tough, and you are doing the best for your child!

Have you ever dealt with someone judging you as a parent in public? How did you or would you handle it?

No one has ever entrusted impoverished Emmalee with anything important but she takes it upon herself to sew her mentor’s resting garment in The Funeral Dress by Susan Gregg Gilmore. Join From Left to Write on October 15 as we discuss The Funeral Dress. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.