I was refereeing your team's game yesterday afternoon in the Natick Columbus Day soccer tournament. (This was eleven-year-old boys.) You didn't like one of the calls I made, the one awarding a penalty kick to the other team. You demonstrated this, first, by throwing your clipboard energetically on the ground and yelling. Even after the kick was taken -- and missed -- you loudly yelled out to me across the field in complaint.
As the game proceeded, you proceeded, in word and deed, to let your team know how often you disagreed with my calls.
Here's what I noticed on the field. Your little boys, in their own way, followed your lead. And why wouldn't they, in that you had modeled the behavior so clearly? Every time they felt aggrieved by a call, or by the lack of a call, they would mutter to themselves or sometimes to me. While they did this, they would stop playing, giving the other team an advantage.
So, dear coach, you succeeded in weakening the resolve and effectiveness of your own team. Plus, you taught the boys a really bad lesson about sportsmanship and politeness.
Another lesson, by the way, is that the referee is always right, even if s/he has made a mistake: A player never wins in the long run by dissenting. If children are to be effective players as they grow older, it is best to learn that lesson, too.
These are small children who have come to kick a piece of leather around a field, build skills, and have fun. You are supposed to set an example for their behavior. Please try harder today when you come back for the second day of the tournament.
P.S. I was also embarrassed by the fact that you live and coach in my home town.