Step Up or Step Out

I am going to kind of be on a soapbox today.  Sorry! I was at a meeting last night for my daughter’s gymnastics team.  First of all, it was mandatory that at least one parent for every gymnast be in attendance.  I can tell you that there was probably only half of the team represented there.  Mind you, this meeting has been on the calendar for at least a month.  That is plenty of time to make arrangements so that one parent could be there.  Yes, I know that there are extenuating circumstances for some that really just couldn’t make it, but I can assure that was not the case for half of the team! That isn’t even my real issue, though.  My real issue came when we spent a good length of time determining if we were going to host a big moneymaking event.  The argument boiled down to the lack of parental volunteers to support the event with the same handful of people doing all the work while everyone reaped the benefits.  We ultimately voted to have the event because we didn’t want to take something away from the girls just because there were a few bad seeds.  Now, we have been a part of 3 different gyms throughout my daughter’s career as a gymnast.  In every single one of those gyms, we have had to sign a contract stating that we would complete a certain number of volunteer hours.  Some gyms required more and some less. Regardless, they all had some form of requirement for parent volunteers.  I know that this is the case in other competitive sports as well.  My point is that you know going into it what is expected of you.  However, so many parents think that they can get out of it or that it doesn’t apply to them. I cannot tell you how many times over the years that we have had to beg and plead with people to get enough volunteers to run an event, to get them to do what they said they would do by signing that contract.  It is always the exact same few people who put in their required hours plus many more hours to cover for those who don’t fulfill their commitment.  It is those same people that showed up for the meeting that you see doing all the work all of the time.  I have always been one of those people that does more than what is required, and I certainly don’t mind doing that.  However, I do mind it when the select few do all of the work, but the whole group gets the financial benefits of the work whether they worked or not.  It is not fair.  I know that rules and regulations require that the funds be split equally, but it just makes me angry.  We should not have to be begging and pleading to get people to do what they committed to do by signing that contract and enrolling their daughter in the program. What gives you the right to think that your time is more valuable than mine? Look, we are all busy.  We all have a lot of things going on.  We all have other kids in other sports.  I get it, but I also know that this is what comes with it.  If you sign your kid up to do a sport that requires parent volunteer hours, you better do your part.  If you can’t, then don’t sign your kid up!  It’s that simple. Step up or step on out.  You are in or you’re not.  It is one or the other.  There should not be any grey area in between.  It is what you committed to do, so you better do it. What kind of example are those parents being for their children when they see their parents skipping out on their responsibilities? What message does that send them? It teaches them that it is ok to feel and act entitled and that you don’t have to go the extra mile because things are just going to be handed to you anyway.  It teaches them that responsibilities aren’t really important. Those sure aren’t lessons I want to teach my kids. Guess what? You aren’t entitled. Your time isn’t more valuable than mine. You aren’t better than me.  We are equal and we all have to do our part. It’s plan and simple. The bottom line is this: If you have kids who are involved in competitive sports, you have to do your part.  It is part of the commitment and part of your responsibilities. Step up or step out! 

Anchored and Rambling,

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