The other day, I was watching an Exira-EHK basketball game, and on the back of the program I read ď10 Things Parents of Athletes Need to KnowĒ (by Stefanie Mullen).  These are the 10 things:

1. Itís not about you, its about them.  Do not live your own sports dreams through your kids. Itís

their turn now. Let them make their own choices, both good and bad.

2. Never talk to a coach about your childís play time after a game. Actually you never should. You

                should have your kid do that. That said, if you just canít help yourself, send an email the next

                day and ask for some phone time. 

3. NEVER yell at referees. They are trying. How would you like it if someone came to your job and

                screamed at you? Not. So. Much. If you have a real issue file a grievance the next day.

4. Do NOT coach your kid from the sideline. Your job is to be a cheerleader, not a coach. If you

                wanted to coach, you should have volunteered.

5. It is EXTREMELY UNLIKELY you are raising a professional athlete. I promise you. Relax, let

                them have a good time and learn the lessons they are supposed to be learning in sports.

6. Kids should play the sport that is in season until they are in middle school. Then they can decide

                which one or two sports they want to play and become more focused. Cross training prevents

                injuries and burnout.

7. If you have nothing nice to say, sit down and be quiet. Donít be ďthatĒ parent. 

8. If you are losing your mind on the sideline of game, itís time to look in the mirror and figure out

                why. Itís not normal to care that much about sports. Put that energy into something more


9. Let them fail. Forgotten equipment, not working out, not practicing at home? Let them suffer the

                consequences of that. It will make them better.

10. Your kids are watching you. Make them proud not embarrassed.


I like that last one. When you are in the stands, not only are you watching your kids, ďyour kids are watching youĒ.  Do you realize that you are a witness, even when you are at a ball game?  As most of you know, I am a big fan of sports, especially our high school teams.  Quite often, when I go to the games, on the back of my shirt is ďPASTOR RONĒ in big bold letters.  That means, people will look at me and what I do, as an example of what pastors are like.  I am a witness whether I like it or not. 


The question is: ďAm I a good witness?Ē  If I scream and shout at the refs, or curse and swear and get angry with the other team; then I am a terrible witness, for Christ, for my community, and for my team.  Sadly, this is the behavior I see and hear far too often at the games, usually from the adults, not the kids.  Whether they donít realize the impression they are making, or they donít care about it; they are being poor witnesses. 


I try to follow the 10 things on the list.  My goal is to always cheer for my team, never against the other team or the officials.  Do I always succeed? ďOf course not.Ē  I sometimes question a refís decision a little too loudly; but I have never cheered against an opposing player, at least not intentionally.  Itís not because Iím some kind of angel or saint.  Itís because Iím trying to be a good witness.


Iím not perfect, far from it.  I get angry at games, and at some things in life.  I can lose hope, and I can get frustrated, at games and in life.  In deed, I really donít have control over these emotions and thoughts.  This is the bondage to sin that we confess to on Sunday; and we canít free ourselves from these emotions or thoughts.  But, I do have some control over how I use these emotions and all my other sinful thoughts and desires.  I can choose to express them (and yell at the referees); or I can choose to respect them and honor their decisions.  I try to do the later.  When I fail, I need forgiveness.


I will always be a witness, but I can choose to be a good one.  Remember, you are always a witness, at ball games and in your daily life.  What kind of witness will you be?


Pastor Ron