I have a friend. (I know that’s hard to believe. I only have one)
This friend has a PhD in an extremely “heady” field of study and speaks four languages. It’s safe to say my friend is pretty darned smart.
English is my friend’s fourth language. Sentences are choppy, grammar is a bit off, and the speech is stilted and slow (because my friend likes to choose the perfect words and because English is language number 4).
People always talk to my friend like they are speaking to someone stupid. They talk very slowly and enunciate every. Single. Word. (And, yes, they speak in a loud tone). My friend understands every word but still, people think my friend is stupid because of the language barrier.
What’s my point?
The inability to properly speak your language doesn’t make someone stupid.
The inability of a player or parent to properly speak your coach or sport speak doesn’t make them stupid either.
Yet, I hear people all the time make comments about how stupid their players are or how stupid those parents are because they don’t speak the sport language.
Heck, I once had a coach tell me a group of parents were idiots because they used the word “sweeper”. His exact words were “your team’s parents are the biggest idiots I’ve ever spoken to”.
I promptly told him it is not proper to end a sentence in a preposition. Idiot. 🙂
It’s a language barrier. It doesn’t make them stupid. This coach, and countless others, have put people (especially parents) at arms length, spoken condescendingly toward them, and flat out refused to interact with them because they thought a lack of “sport language” equaled stupidity.
Well, that’s stupid. 🙂
The last thing you want to do is alienate people or treat them like idiots just because they don’t speak your language well.
Who cares if they say “sweeper” and you say “center back”?
Get over yourself and give them a chance. If you are so much smarter, then teach them. That’s why they pay you.