Sportsmanlike Conduct

Rain soccer is amazing, snow soccer not so much…
Arwen is playing for Croxford this year and I just dropped her off at practice. Wouldn’t you know but it started raining the moment we arrived? And it wasn’t the soft caress of BC rain, it was more like snow.
I walked across the fields to where she was playing to meet her coaches and then jogged back to my truck. By the time I got back from the world’s slowest jog in the windy rain, I was out of breath and cursing the fact that my treadmill broke down this week. Also I hate exercise and was cursing that fact…
My only talent in the game of soccer is trash talking. We were away when they sent the forms home where parents have to promise not to embarrass their children during games (or something like that) so grandpa signed it for her. I can breathe a sigh of relief now because only grandpa promised to act like a responsible adult!
I really have no idea what the form said but Arwen described it like that to me on the way to school this morning to which I responded “I never agreed to that!!” with a grin…
I want to be the insane parent on the sideline yelling insane advice to her that she couldn’t possibly do! It’s a free country!
“Arwen! Eleven degrees to the left!!! Not up the middle!!! Aaahhhh!!! Like we practiced at home!!! Foul that girl!!! Get that ball out of there!!!” Or my personal favourite when the ball is in front of your own net: “ANYWHERE ELSE!!!!! ANYWHERE!!!!”
I believe I’ve mentioned that I was what I like to call a “sportsmanlike poor influence” on other soccer parents with my younger girls. First, I was Neela’s coach and if I had to describe how our team played in one word it would be HUNGRY.
Did I ask the girls what the most important thing in soccer was?
Yes I did.
Did they respond with the usual things like “Have fun?”
Yes they did.
I brought some much needed correction:
 “No!!! Scoring goals!!!! We lose our minds when we score goals!!!” What on earth are they teaching our kids these days? I love it when I sub a girl off and she’s shoots me a look like “Really? I’m your best chance at getting a goal right now!”
I believe we were the only team that would have done the Premier League  goal celebrations justice. It was pretty fun actually for Airdrie U8 Soccer:)
I can’t help getting riled up at the games a little because I’m the excitable type, and like most parents we’re all experts at sports we never grew up playing. “Why doesn’t the coach just do ____???” It’s all very clear and simple from the sidelines…
Now I am coming across as a bit of a monster to have a little fun here, but I’m really a good sport about sports. When we’re playing there’s good natured banter going down, but always with a smile because we like scoring but it doesn’t wreck our day if we don’t win.
Some people aren’t like that. Some people just can’t seem to get themselves under control. I was in Manitoba one time at a church-league floor hockey tournament and mentioned to the young man watching beside me “Wow. They seem to be taking this quite seriously?”
He responded with “Maybe they’re playing for their salvations?”:) I still get a kick out of that.
My brother said he was reffing a game and stopped a guy from trying to punch someone in the back of the head. Of course my brother’s retelling was quite amusing with his nonchalance and wry grin… Not sure winning a floor hockey tournament will get you picked up by a scout from the NHL….
“Look at that guy! His skills are amazing! I especially love the way he’s trying to hurt the other team! Stellar props to his natural, uncurbed viciousness!”
We were in a mixed league tournament years ago and made the mistake of thinking we were there to have fun. In the final game our big hitter came up at the end and the three overly competitive male role models on the other team called a huddle at the pitching mound with their children looking on from the stands. At the SLOW pitching mound.
Being uncertain of the specific rules during a CHURCH LEAGUE BALL TOURNAMENT, they decided they could probably get away with walking him to get to our fifty year old mom who didn’t play baseball because the ref went to their church? They took home a well deserved win to the boos of their own fans. Extremely funny.
If I was the pastor of THAT crew I believe my next sermon series would be called “Why Some People are No Longer Allowed to Play Soft Ball On Our Team”. It’s a bit long so I’d have to shorten it to something that sounds more spiritual.
I think my What Would Jesus Do bracelet saved some surprising damage to vehicles at the ball diamond that day.
I just couldn’t picture Jesus hitting grounders in the parking lot only towards certain cars:)
Corey Kope

Pastor. Father of 4 beauties. Devoted husband, Liverpool fan, and Jesus follower.

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