Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog #12: Family Matters Part I

Blog #12: Family Matters Part I

As part of my blog on 'Blogspot' I have decided to share with you several stories from my life and family. Those of you who have read my 'Facebook' blog may be familiar with the stories here, but they are still entertaining in my humble opinion. Family Matters will be a regular topic on my blog so look forward to future posts. Thanks for reading!

"My Mom, My Coach"

While growing up my Mom coached my softball team from the mite level all the way to the bantam level, I believe 8 years total. A lot of years we won the county tournament because my Mom was a great coach and all the kids loved her. She not only taught us the rules of the game and how to play but she taught us about good sportsmanship. Even when you lose you act on your best behaviour. There's nothing worse than a poor sport or worse, a cheat. We played by the rules and never broke them. A good coach can spot the strengths and weaknesses in their players and work with them and around them. That is how a good team is formed and that is why my Mom was a great coach.

Now let me tell you a story about the worst case of poor sportsmanship I have ever witnessed. It involved a "fun" tournament in the nearby town of Sangudo. We received an invitation to put in a team at a fun tourney in Sangudo, I think the year was 1994. My Mom put our team in with a few additions from the other school team in our age group. I believe the team consisted of: myself, Joe Olson, Karyn Olson, Vicki Mack, Shawna Wood, Erin Williams, Lenny LaBerge, Colleen Pederson, the Jousett twins, Brian Williams and that is all I can remember, sorry if I forgot you.

Before going to the tourney my Mom was told by the organizer that they were playing by the same rules as the Barrhead county rules, which we were used to. Each county has their own sets of rules that are options from the rule book. For example in our county there was no windmill pitching, there had to be a male pitcher to a female back catcher and vice versa. You had to field at least 3 girls, no one over the age of 14 and so on. My Mom was told those rules applied to this tournament. Imagine our surprise to learn that the Sangudo tourney was not following the rules of which we were accustomed. The Sangudo teams were windmill pitching with a male pitcher and male back catcher. No girls in the outfield and it was pretty obvious their "A" team was filled with boys older than 14....these guys were huge! We even became aware some of their team had driven to the tournament in their own vehicles.

When my Mom asked the organizer why we were not playing by the county rules she was told they changed their minds, after we had payed our entry fee of course. Rather than quit my Mom did what any good coach would do. She evaluated her players and moved us around into different positions as needed based on our strengths. Joe pitched because he was wicked at windmill and Lenny back catched. We worked through it as a team and on Sunday we made it to the A-Final against the Sangudo "A" team.

These kids on the Sangudo team taunted us with rude and hateful comments when we went up to bat. To make it worse their coach only encouraged their bad behaviour. Their parents even taunted and ridiculed us. We were ready to break down, ready to give up and walk away but my Mom held us together. She told us at our bench:

" Your better than them. You can win, go out there and help each other and we'll win the trophy!"

Even with the Sangudo Umpire against us we went to work and played the toughest game of our little lives. Despite the "boos" and other taunts from the other team and their parents guess what happened? WE WON. We won and beat them only by a few runs as I recall but it was enough. The parents of the other team booed and walked away in disgust, some of them even accused us of cheating. The other coach told his team to go home and they refused to shake our hands. The organizer of the tournament never brought us our trophy, and we never did get the trophy ever.

But it didn't matter, we won and beat the odds. We proved to ourselves that despite the odds never give up, always play the best you can and never cheat. My Mom helped us to achieve our victory, we were the champions. The next year we were never invited back to Sangudo. I couldn't imagine now that I am a parent booing the opposing team and taunting them the way we had been. Thanks to my Mom I know better, and I will teach my kids the importance of good sportsmanship. It doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you try.

Thanks Mom, Thanks Coach!!

My Mom, Darcy Lockhart, me and my nephew Damien Lockhart-Rydvall

Have a great week!!

- Chris

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your mom taught you a very valuable lesson, one she has used all her life, she is truly an awesome person..