Some Parents

Wraith

Do the impossible its fun
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#1
I guess you can call this a flame. It started out by going to the 1st race of the 3 race series they were having at our local track. My son normally finishes 3rd or 4th. And the other top spots are normally placed by the same kids. And there is really no close competition as it is PeeWee class. The first race I noticed this MX MOM yelling at her son, running to the next turn possible turn she can get to to yell and wave her arms all over the place. Now this doesn't sound to bad. But I'm not talking encouraging her son, she acts like it's a matter of life and death. So I paid it no attention after the that race and didn't pay any attention the 2nd either. I am the type that just finds a good spot to sit in the middle of the track layout and watch my boy race. So I figured this was just her way. So anyway my son finished 3, and 4 and the last race was tonight. Well it started off all wrong. At the riders meeting they announced they would split the PeeWees up running the 4-6 class then the 7-8 class. Her and my boy are in the 4-6. We get to the line and the starter says they are all running together. We tell him what they told us at the riders meeting but to no avail. So they start all of them. Well halfway thru the first lap, they somehow forget that 3 7-8 year olds wern't at the line and they show up halfway thru the 1st lap. When the #1 rider passes the finish line, at the next corner after the starter waives the boy to stop. He does and eventually 3 other riders pass and keep going. Any way they red flag it for a restart to run them seperate. This mother is down there cussing yelling and screaming. Mainly because her son got a good start and was in 1st, when he normally is 2nd or 3rd. So I kind blew it off thinking I might be the same way. So they restart and he finishes 3rd, about 2 bike lengths in front of my boy. 2nd race was awsome (for me anyway:) ) They start and my boy is in 4th, her boy 3rd, and the 5th place rider right with them. All three riders were banging bars every corner, swapping positions every corner, 5th to 3rd, 3rd to 5th, 3rd to 4th, so on so forth. And this is the best I have ever seen my son race. I even found myself yelling GOOOOOOO, giving him the full throttle sign, patting myself on the back when he went by to try and let him know someone was still on his rear fender (like he didn't know;) ). And this is very unusuall for me. When I glanced to a part of the track they were at I saw this boys mom mouth wide open (to far away to hear her) waiving her hands jumping up and down, and kinda waiving her arms in disgust. And I'm thinking, lady this a real good PeeWee MX race. You couldn't ask for more. Last lap came around and my boy was in 3rd pulling about 2 bike lenghts on 4th and pulling away slowly. And 5th (the boy whos mom I'm flaming, not the boy) about 5 bike lengths behind 4th. This time I was closer to her when her son passed and when he went by she was holding her arms in the "What the hell" position, except she actually says "What the Fuc@":scream: And she screamed it at the top of her lungs. People like this should be banned from the track. Not the riders, but the moms and dads like this. The dad was on the opposite side of the track acting like a parent. And I can see why he was on the other side. Anyway my boy placed 3rd. He's had one 1st and one 2nd overall. But this overall 3rd made a bigger grin on his face than the 1st or 2nd (as well as me) Her son finished 5th. All 3 of these boys raced there hearts out that night. And this mom has no idea. So I guess if you and I can learn anything from this mom and the other parents like this around tracks. Lets all remember. This is there time. Not ours.:D
 

Hucker

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#2
Man, sounds like almost an identical scenario to mine, instead trade the bikes for some skates and sticks and you pretty much have it. Hockey parents can be just as bad. I remember playing a couple of times, looking up into the stands and not believing what was coming out of some of these adults mouths. Unreal. I would love when my mom or dad would bring the big cow bell to the playoffs, everytime I heard it I knew it was a cheer for me. But to cuss and swear becos things aren't going your way? To many parents are trying to live their dreams through their children. Let them have fun, and let them be kids. Do you actually think they care if they come in 1st or 5th? I doubt it, as long as they are out on the bike, they are having the time of their lives...
 

stormer94

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#3
Makes you wonder if the kid is even having any fun... Not likely...

Shame, we see it all the time. I think it's the luck of the draw. I've got a first year 8 year old daughter racing, and I was worried about other MX parents ruining this experience for my daughter and I as you described above. We raced in NorthDakota at a race, and the parents couldn't have been better. It was just like you hoped, parents all helping each other shouting encouragement to EVERY rider, not just theirs. Helping kids up, starting bikes for those that couldn't, etc.

Now, a points race in Montana, it was about what you described above, bitching, complaining. My daughter was on an xr50 and this dad next to me gripes that it's not fair that she can shift and likely get the holeshot over the automatic bikes. I looked at him funny and said, look, if she comes out of the first corner anywhere but in dead last, you can have her DQ'd and keep your bowling trophy. We were there to have fun, he was there to win.

The whole weekend was full of stuff like that. The ND crew was all about helping the kids, A rider would tip over and ALL the adults ran over to help out. the MT crew was all about helping yourself, if a rider tiped over, other parents cheered... I don't know how it started, but it's a shame we can't have more races where the kids just go out, ride, and have fun.

I just want to have fun with my kids and offer them opportunities to try different fun things, in this case MX which I enjoy. There are plenty of other places to have fun, people just don't get it. You see some of these young riders, on the edge of control and the parents are still yelling at them to speed it up... sends a chill down my spine to think they don't care about the welfare of their children enough to just step back and watch. You don't have to be Roger DeCoster to see an in-experienced rider on the edge of control.
 
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#4
Sounds like a common problem among kids sports. In my sons soccer league, if a parent acts up, they have to leave the game. Simple as that. We are also not allowed to roam all over the place to watch. There are almost always league officials at the games with the "over zealous" parents, so they are being watched, and I've seen them dismissed.

So why not do the same at the mx races for kids? These people need to have guidelines, and if they want Jr. to race, they'll follow the guidelines. I personally don't want my kids seeing that kind of behavior at something that is supposed to be fun. You don't see pro mechanics acting that way towards their riders.

Mark
 

stormer94

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#5
My daughter still thinks that a race for her is just like a trail ride. She falls into order somewhere in the line, stops and waits for fallen riders and does not really feel the need to pass as she's having fun where she is. I hope that lasts for a long time.

She'll come in from her moto, look at her dad and brother who are sweating like pigs, still breathing hard, weazing and suffering on a great magnitude and say something like, "it's not that hard, you guys are outta shape"... :confused: She then hops on her pedal bike and rides around the pits with her friends while I still gasp for air, it's been 45 minutes since my moto... She circled the track at a brisk walking pace for 6 minutes and cannot understand why we are so hammered. And I'm not going to tell her either :)
 
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#6
First, being a parent of young child I am a little worried at how competitive parents make sports. Right now my son is 3 and I think maybe in a year or two I might get him into riding. Ok, I'm getting off my soapbox. I do have a couple of questions to pose:

1. Shouldn't the track owners/management do something to ensure that parents don't get out of hand?

2. What can we do as parents to help maintain the fun for our children at the tracks?

3. I think MX is just like any other sport. I know that in N. Texas all parents of children in team sports has to take some type of sportsmanship class. Those parents are also held accountable if they do get out of hand. Would something like this benefit those of us in MX?

It's sad to hear stories like this because the children suffer the most. Even worse, it is likely that those children pushed in this way turn out to become the out of control parents that we hate seeing at the track.

Is it going to take a serious incident at a track for those in charge to take notice?

Thanks for listening...
 

XRpredator

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#7
I've learned over the past year that you can't make your kid better than he wants to be. Predator2 is a big kid (4 ft tall 80 lb 6-year old). Carrying that big ol' body around is work enough for him. Learning to ride a bike is still a chore. Finally learned how to skip. Played <gasp!> soccer last year and also wrestled.

I've had to hold my toungue to keep from yelling at him. Being an ex-wrestler, I got so frustrated with his skills. He sensed it so much that he asked me to stay home and have mom take him to practice. I respected his wishes.

I'm not a perfect dad, but I'm getting better at it.:)
 
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#8
Predator,

XRpredator,

I too don't go to soccer practices for very similar reasons. I want my son to have fun, regardless of how he does, which is steadily better.

Took him out on his new TTR90 yesterday for the first time, at Elsinore, and he was the slowest kid out there by far. I praised him for being so careful, and thought to myself how I'd like him to go faster. He will ride better/faster at some point, but that will come from him, not my pushing. He thought he did great yesterday, and all things considered for a first time out he did. Not gonna be the next McGrath, but he's having fun.

Mark
 

stormer94

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#9
marklx,

I got my 12 year old son into riding this year. When he first got the bike he was riding like (to use a phrase from Titus) a wussy. Really slow, I mean really slow, I mean it was embarassing. Now, after a summer full of riding and a couple of races, I WISH HE'D SLOW DOWN!!!! :confused:

It will happen, and no amount of proding will improve it or change it. They learn at their own level. And I think 99% of it has to do with how much fun they see Dad having. If Dad and or his buddies are roosting the corners, catching air, wheelieing (sp?) and having fun, then that's what they want to do.

If the parents make it fun, the kids have fun. Then you can point to the 'Nusto, wacked out' parents and your kids will think you're pretty cool. Teach them unacceptable behavior now, and they will understand and hopefully remember it.

I know my kids are likely gonna take last or at best finish in the middle of any moto, but then I remind them how fun it is, and re-inforce how fortunate they are to have these opportunities that NONE of the other kids in their schools have. My son, locally is the only 6th grader allowed to race. My 2nd grade daughter is the same, and they think that's pretty cool, and I try and reinforce that as well. "You may have taken 24th place, but that officially makes you the fastest rider in your school!!! Stuff like that. :)

Don't underestimate the 'cool factor' that goes with it for the kids.
 
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#10
I have a son that turned 15 the end of May. I NEVER wanted him out there on the track when he was younger, with the PARENTS around. I wasn't worried about the kids. I have let my son practice for years but wouldn't let him race. I used to watch the parents make FOOLS of themselves at the races. Yell at their kids, especially when they fell. Many parents would run over and tell the kids to "Get UP, Your NOT HURT, GET UP". I see so many parents push thier kids to do things they don't want to, and the kids just end up getting hurt and losing interest!
One thing I might offer to you. Get a video cam and get those parents and how they act. Offer to show it to them. We have a local moto newspaper here that is very courageous about printing stories like the ones you have written. This will do wonders against these parents.
My son never had that "Fire' or "Motivation". I asked Professor Bailey at a big race, what I could do to intsill that motivation in my son, and to be aggresive. He told me that you can't teach that, and that your kid will either get it or he won't. Funny thing happened when my son got on a 125, he has come out of his shell. I get excited when my son is dicing for position, but one thing I always do is tell him he did great. If he didn't do so well he knows it, and is old enough to decide what he is going to do about it.
Regards:cool:
 
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#11
Stormer94,

You're so right about wishing he'd slow down soon. Before the TTR, he was riding a pw50 and getting lots of air, sliding, etc and it scared the hell out of me. He was in control, but crashed a few times due to the limited "suspension" on the pw. I don't want him getting hurt, so was really somewhat relieved to see how cautious he was on the ttr.

My son summed it up great at the end of the day yesterday.... "you know I am half mommy too". I bust up laughing when he said it, but it is true. My wife defines cautious, and only after many heated "discussions" was the purchase of the bike approved at all. Guess I'll keep her.

It is safe to say that there aren't many days that are better than when I'm out riding with my son. Wish my wife and daughter were involved, but that may come with time.

Mark
 

stormer94

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#12
We got a good laugh out of this. A friend of mines 10 year old rider, non-racer, was in on a conversation we were having about his dad. We said, "Tyson, you ride like your dad". He said, "Whadda ya mean, careless?"

We got a good chuckle out of that one. Kids may not say much, but they are watching, to be sure. :)
 
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#13
Very funny. I hate to think what my son would say if his riding was compared to mine. Lots of adjectives, but not good for my self-esteem.:)

Kids are always watching and listening, which brings this thread around to what started it. Teach by example. And these nutso parents need to be the example of how not to do things. It will take other parents and track management to make that happen, but it really should be a given that everyone behaves.

There have probably been articles about pro racer parents, but I'd love to know how they participated in their kids careers. My guess is that they weren't yelling at them.

Mark
 

Boit

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#14
I see this behavior often at the track. The consequences are that the kid(s) attempt jumps that they are not ready for just so they can win their parent's approval. The 50, 60, and 80 classes are large and it's heartbreaking to see these kids hurt themselves just so mom and/or dad will be pleased. It's so sad.
 

NdKxRacer

#15
OK
I guess I better put in my 2 cents now. That Stormer 94 guy sounds pretty darn smart. I am impressed with the way he has brought his kids up. He has a head on his shoulders and can even use it. But you will have to ask his kids if they agree. Anyway, my son (who's name I'm posting under), is like the others that everone is mentioning. He probably will never be the fastest on the block, but it's not because of lack of trying. He is so into motocross that I sometimes wonder if it is too much of a good thing. I committed this spring to take him to every points race in the state and see if he could get a trophy at the end of the year. Well I don't think he will get anything but a participation award, but I think it will be one of the most memorable summers that our family had. It is great to see how he and all of the other kids progress as the summer played out. And now it's over and we move on, but it was a good way to build a kid's confidence. I just wish it was something that more parents would let their kids do. My son has many friends that don't have a dirt bike and just droll over the bikes. I tell them to get their parents out to the track and the we will have a little talk with them and let them see that it really is only as dangerous as the kids make it. And with the right gear, kids can take quite a hard fall and not even get hurt. We went riding this weekend in the National Grasslands of ND and my son went everywhere without much hesitation, but afterwards, he said that motocross was WAY easier than trail riding up and down the ravines we took him through. It's funny how something like a dirt bike can bring family and friends together unlike anything else that I can think of.