If you’ve been to any high school sports event, you know that sometimes the kid spectators go a little crazy, yelling loudly during all parts of the game–during free throws or volleyball serving.
It’s called school spirit. It adds to the excitement of the game. It energizes the players on the field or court, even if the opposing team is doing it. Noise helps them player harder. Have you ever heard someone tell the college crowds to hush during free throws?
When my kids were in high school, the administrators stood guard at every event, ready to keep order. Their presence was needed in case behavioral problems arise.
But there were times when they attempted to squash harmless noise, becoming a wet-blanket which stifled school spirit.
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They shushed kids at a volleyball game because they loudly complained about a call or made noise at a tense moment. I say, as long as the yells were not demeaning or inappropriate, let the kids make noise.
They threatened to shut down an entire night of powder puff football when one minor thing went wrong. I say, take care of the situation and don’t punish the entire student body for one person’s mistake.
They seemed to feel it was their duty to tell the kids where and how loud they should be in expressing their school spirit.
Administrators, parents, and coaches should strive to foster a vibrant atmosphere of school spirit. Healthy competition and harmless enthusiasm is what makes high school sports so much fun for the athletes and kids.
I say let the kids have good clean fun. (I’m not talking obscene-gestures or morally-depraved expressions.) Let them be loud. Let them be creative. And let’s leave the wet blankets home. Better yet, hang it out to dry and put it in the closet where it belongs.
What do you think of kids exhibiting school spirit and how far we should let them go? I’d like to hear your comments.
Janis B. Meredith writes a sportsparenting blog, http://jbmthinks.com. She’s been a sports mom for 20 years, and a coach’s wife for 28, and sees life from both sides of the bench. You can also follow her on facebook and twitter.