Parental Control

“Good things are coming our way. Good things are coming. I’ll wait in line. I long to be inside your company. Maybe you know we’ll go wherever you wanted to. I’m through wishing I was somewhere else. Drive along to escape. Good things are coming.” ~Rival Schools, Good Things

It’s been a while since I wrote a story. If you actually follow this thing, sorry for the delay. I haven’t given up telling my ridiculous stories. It’s just that I’ve been a little preoccupied. No, no, no. I have not met anyone. I got reacquainted with an old friend…volleyball. I am currently assistant coaching a young girls’ club team. It’s been a while since I’ve spent so much time around kids. They’re wonderful little aliens who have brought a lot of joy to my life.

At a recent tournament, I ventured over to the parents’ section while two teams were playing (not mine or my club) while my team was the working team at the time. If you’re not familiar with the structure of club volleyball tournaments, if you’re not playing, your team either rests or helps ref the other games. I should note here, I played volleyball for 11 years (grade school, club, high school and college). I’m familiar with crazy coaches and parents. Or so I thought…

Perhaps I just don’t remember exactly HOW crazy the parents were when I was a player, or maybe most of the parents’ on my teams weren’t that nuts. I have no idea. I know this…I heard some crazy shit sitting in the stands! These parents were terrible. Terrible fans. Terrible to their kids. Terrible to the coaches. Terrible to the refs. Not a single one of them understood the game. So, you had people sitting and screaming about things they didn’t understand. I’ll explain.

A double hit. In volleyball, a double hit is when a player hits the ball twice. Many times this is called when someone tries to set the ball, and the ball hits one hand first and the other second instead of in tandem. Hence, double hit. Two. There are other ways a double hit can be called, but in this particular game the setter on the terrible parents’ team kept getting called on it. To be blunt, she just wasn’t very good. This caused an uproar with the parents because they had no idea what it was. The players knew, the coaches knew, the other team knew…EVERYONE knew why this was being called. Except the three loudest people in the bleachers. These are some of the things being spewed at the ref, the other team and, sadly, their own kids:

  • “How is that a double hit? Explain that to me please. What is that call? If I were the coach I’d be asking the ref to explain a double hit to me so I could tell the girls what that is.”  (Dude. They know.)
  • “They’re not doing so hot on their statuses this game.” (Statuses?)
  • “Come on Shelby!!! Where is she on that?” (This was his kid.)
  • “Smash! Smash it!!” (No one says this in volleyball. If you do, we know you don’t know anything about the sport.)
  • “I think we emptied the shotgun on the first game.” (You did.)
  • “Knock, knock. Who’s there? I guess no one was home on that one.”
  • “If I were the coach, I’d call a timeout.”
  • “If I were the coach….” (For not knowing a damn thing about volleyball, he sure had a lot of “coaching” advice.)

This was what I heard in about ten points of the second set of the match. I had to leave not because I was offended or sickened…but because I was no longer able to contain my laughter. They sounded absolutely ridiculous. I felt bad for the coach who probably gets complaints about her choices from parents who have no clue what is going on. Some poor girl trying to her little heart out on the court has to go home to advice from those dummies at the end of the day. It was eye-opening.

On a completely different note, last weekend there was a group of parents who had choreographed dances for their girls. Another group of parents sang a song and did a pile on in the middle of the floor when their team won a tournament. Same kind of crazy, just on the other end of the spectrum.

Unsolicited advice to fans: Be respectful. Be supportive. Don’t be an asshole. Good sportsmanship should not be a fading thing. There is such a thing as being a gracious winner AND loser. Moving on… 

So, this has been my world and focus lately. I kind of put dating on the back burner because, well, it was kind of exhausting and becoming a bummer to think about. I still think about it, but…it’s not my main focus. For now, volleyball, crazy parents, great parents, great kids, crazy kids, smelly gyms and kneepads. The funny thing is, being back in this world has been pretty damn awesome. When I was healing from my divorce, I kept saying how my confidence was returning and started feeling like my old self. I now feel like I’m fully back together. How cool is that?