In silence and in self defense – I figured things out in my own little way. – Actress Loretta Young

Ever heard of “Silent Saturday?” It’s a nation-wide movement that started with soccer leagues to get parents to shut up and let the kids play the game. (Okay, that’s probably not the “official” mission statement, but you know what I’m talking about.)

Today, was our little leagues’ turn to participate, and there were two simple requests:

1.  Non-players were instructed to remain silent. Only light clapping was allowed.
2.  Spectators were asked to wear green – the color of growth, harmony, and balance.

That was it. Coaches, parents, and on-lookers sat virtually closemouthed while the players figured out how to play the game without input from the sidelines. The kids quickly began imitating their coaches; the head coach’s kid assumed the role of his father. They made decisions like when to steal bases, keep running, or how to play the infield, all without assistance from coaches or parents.

After the game, I asked my son how he enjoyed it. He said today’s game did seem more fun, but he wasn’t sure he’d want to play that way all the time.

The parents around our diamond seemed to embrace the rules, as well. Observers on both teams adhered to the mute status during play. An adjacent diamond wasn’t quite as impressed with Silent Saturday. They could be heard “cheering” from across the field. But who can blame them? It’s hard not to get excited when your kid is playing well…or not so well.

I’m not sure whether the kids benefited from participating in Silent Saturday. But they manged to win a baseball game and appeared to have fun. They usually have fun.

Maybe the lesson was for the parents: Give your kid a chance. He probably already knows what to do (and will do it)…without you YELLING at him.

 

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