The year 2020 was crazy, to say the least. Shutdowns, quarantines, no sports for a while, NBA in a bubble and no NCAA softball tournament to list just a few of the things that we will never forget.
Slowly but surely life will get back to normal and for those of us that love fastpitch softball seeing our kids get back on the fields and competing in games has been an amazing thing. We have seen several big things as the games begin to crank back up across the country and some of them are very exciting to see.
It appears that the college kids we see on TV are really excited to be back on the field and playing with a greater level of joy and passion than we might have seen before the pandemic. Seeing travel ball tournaments taking place and kids getting a chance to get back on the field and chase their dreams is exciting too. But…
Parents, I know you don’t want to hear this but there have been a few studies done where one thing has been very clear. Players in sports where attendance has been limited and social distancing has required parents and fans to be further away from the games have made one very clear statement:
It’s more fun playing when they don’t have parents screaming, yelling or cheering at them from the stands. That not having to hear their parents corrections, encouragement and coaching has made the games much more fun to play and much less stressful for them overall. That they have been able to play the games for the fun of playing, to support their team and teammates and to play for their coaches rather than have to worry about what is going on in the stands has been very liberating for them.
Not all parents are the crazy sports parents but, you can all admit that almost every game you attend has at least one if not a group of people who are. Constantly yelling at the umpire, coaching their kid up from the stands, second guessing their coaches, showing way too much emotion when their kid makes a mistake or even makes a great play are all part of that these athletes are saying steals their fun.
So what has 2020 given us a chance to learn? That when the parents were removed from the games, the kids had a lot more fun playing!