Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I've learned you can never make all of your readers happy

Over the past two weeks, I have written a game story and a blog which both mention screaming parents.

My game story on South at Chardon ran in the paper on Jan. 4 mentioned the loud atmosphere coaches and players were faced with during a Saturday afternoon game. (Click here to read it). I wrote a blog about how sportsmanship should extend to the stands and beyond on Jan. 15. (Click here to read it).

It's safe to say I had a "few" positive and negative e-mails regarding both articles. One person who signed their e-mail "concerned parent" called my articles "detrimental." Another person told me I do a great job of expressing "most people's opinions."

After reading all of the e-mails, I've come to the conclusion that I will never make all of my readers happy with what I write. I just have to write what I feel is right in my heart and live with the comments.

I just thought I'd share a few of the comments with you to show you the diversity of the e-mails I have received over the past few weeks.

Whether you agree with me or disagree, thanks for reading and thank you for sharing your opinions with me.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia
Here are a few opinions from people who did not agree with me: 

Comment on Game story:
Maybe when you have a child on the court, a horse in the race, per say, your perception of student athlete safety will become refined.  Until then, I urge you to watch the film from Saturday's game and tell me that the officiating was good enough to protect our student athletes from injury.  Some coaches and parents will herald your article, and in theory it is good, but the parents who were in the Chardon stands that day, watching their daughters get beat up under the "watchful eye" of five adults will beg to differ with you. 

Comment on blog from someone who signed their e-mail "Concerned parent":
While this may only be a job for you on the journey of your career, it is important that you understand the position you find yourself in as a journalist covering youth sports. Perhaps those screamers in the stands are acting out because they see their child going unacknowledged week after week, and they come to the startling conclusion that they are, in fact, their child’s only fan. You can help change this. You can help show those players that their efforts have not gone unnoted, because, from both observation and personal experience, those screamers in the stands can be just as detrimental as your articles.

Comment from person who agreed with the blog:
I have witnessed parents “undermine” coaches who are simply trying to do the right thing for young people.  I have no problem with a parent who disagrees with a coach; after all, it is through mature disagreement that we can grow as people, especially in a profession such as teaching and coaching.  But I have seen a trend in the last few years where parents try to circumvent the coach and go to a superintendent or school board because they are upset with a coach or have a personal vendetta against one for various reasons. 

Comment from someone who enjoyed my game story and blog:
Hi Teresa,  Just wanted to tell you great article in today's sports edition on parents at kids ball games.  If it changes just one persons attitude it was worth it.  I know my grandkids just hate when I yell and I only get excited when they do something great..which they always do.  I enjoy all your human interest stories, you have a great talent in expressing most peoples opinions.   


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