It was a sunshiny day just after spring hit the air. A routine trip to the ball field for the third time this week to watch a game. It seemed like such a mom / dad thing to do after a workday. Then the phone chirps. It’s a Snapchat and another friend was at the ball field. Different sport. Different age group. Different gender. A weekday at the ball field was not for just me. It seems like a regular occurrence to run into friends and acquaintances any time one is at the ball field.
On this day at the field the restroom visit was required. No toilet paper. Seems to be expected. The bleachers were the next stop. The gentleman next to me noted, geez they need to power wash this place it’s disgusting. I glanced around a bit. Maybe 60% seemed to be female and 40% seemed to be male in the crowd. Maybe 50 people were in attendance. All in their own conversations. Many talking about others nearby. Sometimes in a less flattering way.
Then the match began. The heckling began. The obnoxious fans ran their mouths from both teams. Gasps were taken by some. Feet were stomped by others. Some raised their hand wide as if they were speaking to a large crowd. But no. Most times they spoke to themselves or those who heard them but didn’t listen. It’s so funny to observe actions at the ball field amidst competition.
It was just another day at the ball field. Parents squeaking about play time or bad coaching. Players dancing at half time. Mispronounced names on the announcements at the start of the game. This time around their were no concessions so they’re might have been a few cranky siblings complaining about no sugary treats. I supposed that was a missed fundraising opportunity for the hosting team.
Most of the energy was focused on the loud and annoying teens that showed up late to the game. They heckled the players. They even chose to bark. An interesting barking sound. Loud screams were mixed in. Shouting towards the referees for calling against the home team. I must circle back to the barking noises. They were very odd and distracting for me and I was a good bit away. I can only imagine how the players felt that were nearby.
A day at the ball field. It’s something everyone should experience. From the age of 4-6 to middle school to high school and of course college. The sports may be the same but the audience can surely impact a game. These days sports seem different than when I was younger. I had more fun, less pressure and a stronger desire to grow as a player and teammate. These days kids seem to be strung up on perfection. Parents want highlight reels. Coaches want wins without looking at how to build character and teammates.
One should really attend a game at the ball field where you know nobody. Listen to what goes on in the stands. Observe the coaching or lack thereof. Watch. See if leaders emerge on the field. Listen to how teammates speak to each other. See how hostile spectators are who are doing their best to officiate the game.
A day at the ball field. It can be as interesting as a day of people watching at the airport. Just stop, look and listen to what’s around. Maybe one will learn how to behave better at their own kid’s event. Who knows.
Just an observation post to think about.