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Good Sportsmanship Starts With Parents

By Jackie Goldschneider, NorthJersey.com, 10/08/18, 12:00PM CDT

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“This is about dealing with experiences and teaching kids valuable lessons like hard work, sportsmanship and teamwork. Things they can use in the real world.” 

Growing up, few things made me happier than playing softball, and I can still remember so much from those days. The smell of my uniform, the feeling of a line drive hitting my glove … and the sound of my father screaming at the umpires from the stands. Yep, my dad was my most vocal supporter, but sometimes that meant unloading on the coaches and officials.

“I’m not letting them bench you so their kid can play the whole game,” he’d say, or, “You’re the team’s best catcher, you shouldn’t be playing left field.”

And while I know he was acting out of love, it still made me cringe. Now, with four little athletes of my own, I understand the frustration he felt on the sidelines. But I also know there’s a fine line between being supportive and overstepping.