maternal double fault…

Last week, I watched Youngest compete in a tennis match.  As I sat among the parents from the other team, I heard a mother call out the following to her son on the court:  "Michael, no double faults!"

Seriously, short of shouting out "You suck!", could she possibly have found anything less helpful to say to her son as he stepped up to the service line? 

I remembered the little distinction I made the other day.  I mean, if she had to say something, couldn’t she have settled for "watch the ball" or "keep your tossing arm straight" or, heaven forfend, "have fun."

When I am at my most compassionate, I would say that her admonition, "No double faults!" was really just maternal anxiety articulated.  But since I don’t spend much time at that end of the compassion scale, I will try to simply be grateful to her for reminding me that I want my presence at my kids’ activities to speak only of my support for them.

I think that’s all the talking I need to do.

In that situation…


10 thoughts on “maternal double fault…

  1. Sometimes its observing other parents and their horrifying behavior that helps us hold our own anxieties in check. It’s tough for the hyper competitive to zip it on the side lines but it’s always a good idea!

  2. My kid doesn’t even like me to cheer or shout encouragement. Which is not to say that I didn’t cheer when he got a hit, made a basket, threw out someone at second, scored a touchdown, etc. But shouting out stuff is mostly not done. He will sometimes (less and less often as he gets older) look my way when he did something good and we would sometimes exchange “thumbs ups.”
    I actually got into a fight with another Little League mom over this once. She insisted that we all chant something or other and I knew that my kid would hate that. So I didn’t. And when she pestered me about it, I told her that my kid hates it and that for the most part, in my opinion, the kids didn’t hear our exhortations and/or didn’t care about them. The woman became unhinged at the very idea that our cheering was anything less than precious mothers’ milk to our starving babies. Oy.

  3. My 6yo is in soccer, her first real “sport”. You should hear the things parents yell to their 1st graders. FIRST GRADE! It’s appalling, and enough to make me reconsider re-enrolling her in the future. I’ll be damned if I am going to let some uptight parent ruin my kids fun. For now, we’re going back to swimming lessons.

  4. On, the tennis parents… some treat those games like life or death!
    I enjoy watching the matches… but could do without the overly competitive parents.
    Both my girls played throughout high school.

  5. It always kills me, these sideline shouts — “don’t double fault!”
    I wish the kid had stopped and said, “Hey mom, thanks for the reminder, because I was *planning* to double fault, but now that you’ve yelled that, I realize that it would have been a mistake. Bless you as always.”

  6. That’s atrocious! I was terrible at sport at school, mind you, and can’t imagine being anything than utterly impressed if dudelet or dudelette makes their way onto any kind of sports field with some sort of purpose in mind in the first place. Let alone heckle.

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