Sunday, January 23, 2011

Respect Towards Volunteers

    A while back, I coached a girls' basketball team. The girls were in grades 3-5 and had varying talents. My dad was head coach of the team, and although he consistently tried his best to organize practice and teach fundamental skills, he wasn't the greatest coach. But besides that fact, he tried incredibly hard for the girls to develop their skills and someday play at an advanced level.

    Being a basketball player my whole life, just recently quitting, I coached the girls with everything I knew. I encouraged them when they were having bad practices and worked just as hard as my father to make them the best players possible. My life was busy at that point in time, probably just as busy as now, and sometimes I wouldn't be able to go to their practices due to my homework load.

    Beyond the dedication of my family to the program, there were other families involved. These families wanted their team and daughters to be the best players, get the most playing time, and so on. Within this twisted, mental mindset, many of the coaches of the other teams in the same program, taught their athletes this way.

    I remember vividly one scrimmage we had with the other teams. My dad had asked myself and our neighbor to referee the scrimmage and we had both agreed. Our neighbor was a former high school basketball player and a former aspiring college basketball player, however she didn't make the cut. Not having referee experience before, we kind of winged everything we did. There were some obvious calls we missed, and some travels we should have called, but we tried our best.

    I called one foul in particular on the other coaches daughter, which infuriated him. I didn't do this on purpose of course. I think she was fouling a player and I had already talked to her about how next time that would be a called foul. He screamed at me for a while, about how I was just trying to help my team and that I was horrible at what I was doing. I told him to calm down and go sit on the bench. Next time down the court, I called the ball out of bounds by his team and he argued once again with me and my fellow referee.

    The truth was, these girls were in elementary school trying to practice their skills, and he was setting a perfectly bad example on how to act. I was a volunteer, volunteering my time to help the girls get better, and he didn't care, he wanted his daughter to be the best and that's it.

    Situations like this make me ponder about the future. If parents are setting an example for their children at this young of an age, just imagine how their children are going to act when they are older. The consequences are going to horrible. Pretty soon we are going to be in a world where everything is all about me me me, and not helping. These situations make me sad, but just encourage met to make a positive difference in the world I live in. I want to help others, and to teach others to do the same. Maybe someday I'll meet a world full of helpers.

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