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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Oprah's show on sports parents

Guest fille'smom

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My ex worked in the TV business. Please note that these shows are EDITED like crazy for maximum impact on the audience. Ratings - the name of the game.


That being said, my 2 dd's (older one home from successful first year of college - YAY!) watched this program with me - this time I did not fall asleep. Their comments? "Where's the technique?" "How can a mom let her dress like that?" "Whose life is it, anyway?" And, finally, "thanks, mom for not doing that to us!"

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OK, I don't know about you folks, but I'm ready to call Children's Services in College Station, TX! Even taking into account creative editing techniques, Cheerleading Mom is terrifying! I can't tell you the number of times I stared at the TV screen slack-jawed during last night's show. She's like a walking Abnormal Psychology textbook! And poor little Cheerleading Daughter's confession to camera that she just wants to make everyone happy was chilling.


As for the rest of the families, I think Equestrian Mom and Daughter deserve each other -- each constantly playing to the camera, while accusing the other of playing to the camera. And not a lot of sympathy from this corner for the financial sacrificing supposedly going on: There's far too much evidence of the financial sacrificing that obviously would never be contemplated.


Basketball Mom showed a few chinks in the armor and lost a few points, but she's still way ahead of Basketball Daughter. Ice Skating Boy made a compelling case for corporal punishment, though Mom continues to alienate (what an open-minded gal she is). And Football family just keeps making me sadder and sadder.

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Darn it, I missed it. :D Can anyone be more specific about last nights episode? I have been trying to follow this show but forgot to write it down on my forehead to remind myself.

(I hate getting old! :lol: )

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Mrs. Stahlbaum

Last night's show was the saddest yet.


We learn that cheerleading girl gets stomach aches on Mondays when her schedule is the busiest. She asks if she could possibly miss one class. Manipulative mother uses guilt psychology to make the little girl finally plead to take her to class. This girl is trying to please everyone, not only her mother. Isn't this the classic personality for someone who will develop an ED? Mother admits that she felt ostracized in her youth and wouldn't those people be envious to see how she turned out.


Skating boy who is always complaining about his mom watching him, now starts whining that his mother isn't watching him.


I think the strange relationships that we see on this show would probably exist whether sports were involved or not.

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I have one word of advice for you Redstorm: TiVo! Set it once and it records all episodes. Finds programs with key words like "ballet" or "dance" or "Balanchine" in the description. Ask it to record your favorite movie next time it's on, and when it shows at 2 am -- TiVo is on the job, recording it for your later viewing pleasure. Truly a transformative device. Oh -- want to see those 32 fouettés over and over again? Not a problem. Even when you are watching live. TiVo is happy to "rewind" and let you see them again and again. In slow motion if you want. Or backward. No need to miss the rest of the live telecast -- TiVo is perfectly happy to continue on when you are, even if the rest of the world saw it all five or ten minutes earlier.

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Last night's episode did seem to expand our views a bit of each of these families. Cheerleader's mom was very telling in her admission that she felt she was an ugly duckling during her middle school (and maybe high school) years, and used the college cheerleading and beauty pageants as a way to get back at the girls she felt were cruel towards her during her teen years. She feels this is where her competitiveness comes from, and can't understand why her daughter just doesn't have that same competitive spark. The little girl gets stomachaches some days before her multiple classes (is her body trying to tell her something?), but her mother basically brow beats her into going anyway.


Equestrian mom and daughter need counseling in my opinion--both financial and relationship. I agree there doesn't appear to be any other sacrifices being made, instead the most expensive and least necessary (at least to the mom) item is the only thing mentioned on the show. These two don't communicate at all, and they both say their relationship has never been good. When the mother seems to try to start a discussion, the daughter said this is something they never do, and she was not going to do it just for the camera.


I agree basketball mom may need to lighten up a bit. My daughter pointed out that by making boys and dating so forbidden, she is actually making it all the more attractive to her daughter.


Ice Skating Boy does need to grow up quite a bit. I quess I never paid attention to his age, but I was surprised to find out he was 16. (I had figured about 14.) He needs someone to push him, and his coach recognizes this. I think maybe he hasn't really figured out why he is skating and for whom. He really wants his mom's approval--but his coach was right that he needs to be doing it for himself first of all. Maybe this is a later version of the cheeleader family?


I'm just confused about the football family, and don't really know what to think about them yet. The boys parents seem like loving, good people, but I have to wonder about the advisibility of putting a 9 year old through that kind of intense one-on-one training.

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I come from the world of sport. I paid part of my waythrough college coaching gymnastcs, track and soccer. Football family is sad in that the boy may like football but will burn out or get injured before he ever gets to college. The father's worry that he is too emotional to play football for me is very indicative of his being out of touch. The kid is 8 and doing everything he can to make his father happy. I see this father & son and the same as the cheering mother daughter. The kids have no idea why they are doing what they are doing, it is just that the footbal father is expending all his energy on one sport.


The basketball daughter cracks me up. She is very like many 14 year old girls that I have worked with and their obsession with boys. It's really hard to look beautiful running intervals at 90 degrees, but dang if they didn't try.


I agree with Mrs. Stahlbaum and that the poor quality relationships would exist with or without the sports, they would just take a different outlet. Through the whole thing last night I could hear the child pyschologist counting their pennies.

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Mother admits that she felt ostracized in her youth and wouldn't those people be envious to see how she turned out.

Somehow, sadly, I doubt they would be.


And, calamitous, you're right. Poor little Football Boy will be fried by the age of 12, if not out right crippled. Maybe another call to Children's Services is in order there, too!


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Guest Vicarmac

yes I do remember him, first Sports Illustrated had a story about his potential (but also about his Dad and the whole raised to be a great quarterback crap) then about his downfall, and his dad along with Mary Pierce etc are always held up a poster children of the bad sports parents. I thought of him as soon as I saw the little boy.

I think the skater is just totally a mess from years of trying to win approval. It is easy to say grow up but I think he was stunted years ago. He doesn't like his mom's constant disapproval and harping but when she ignores him he feels even more judged by her, and it is never good. I mean if she really wasn't watching because she could tell it was making him nervous why stay in the place at all? It just highlighted to him her dissapproval and he then thought he needed her to watch. He is nervous and is lashing out and he does not come off very likable but unless anyone has forgotten already how his mother kept asking him over and over and over how long it took him to do some jump in practice. When was he going to get it right etc.

It is funny how everyone is sympathetic when they are young and still trying to please the nutty parent but when they get older and react more obnoxiously we start to blame the kid for a lot of it. I bet skater boy was once like the little ones but mom was never happy long. This is what happens when kids start resenting it all, so to think they should have any correct idea of how to train or act because they are now 16 is a little much to ask.

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I do think that the camera tweaks everything.

Skater boys mom needs to do as I said on another thread and drop him and go do her bills at Starbucks. He was also a late starter in the skating and a naturals. Naturals often do not have the desire and motivation needed to follow it through. His coach is also difficult and in my opinion no inspiring either. When he asked her not to yell to him while he was doing the routine and to wait till afterwards she said no. I dont get that. All kids need something different why cant the coach see if it works better his way. They want him to grow up but when he tries to be assertive they squelsh it.

The cheerleading mom is scary and somewhat familiar. shudder. I have seen her type at the dance studio. Did any one see the "ballet performance" complete with back handsprings at the mall! Funny thing is the country western performance was the cutest and the brothers enjoyment of it was evident and never even aknowleged by the mom. The coach also seems beaten up by the mother, she is young and makes the mistake of allowing the mom in the room.

Football kid, is as all agreed going to be washed up physically at 15 but I have seen dance kids at comps pushed like that too and heard teachers say their biggest problem is burn out! I dont understand why people do it. OK well when the teacher wins a cruise and the studio wins high score I guess it does not matter if the kid doesnt want to do it any more at 14 there are plenty more coming up.


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Guest Vicarmac

I agree Memo, and how about the mom and coach making fun of him and laughing together? Again I ask, what do you think happens when the little football player and cheerleader get to the age where they no longer blindly go along or are just a mess from trying to gain approval that is near impossible to achieve for long? They are not exactly prepared to suddenly become little adults making adult decisions about their sport and in fact most likely lash out because they can't quite verbalize what they feel now or even what is wrong, but they know something isn't right.

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Guest Vicarmac

The standouts last night, Dad had "kid" writing letter to Michigan about how his dream is to play football for them! Written with words a little kid would never use, but Dad made him sign it. The whole time telling the kid how this will make them aware of him and how much he wants to go there. Even had him use a Bo Schembechular (I know I didn't spell it right) quote to show how he know so much about his chosen team.

And the cheerleader mom just keeps getting scarier. I'm sure she will claim editing made her look bad but the only way she would not look bad is if the editors took out everything we have seen and tried to put in only parts where she basically says nothing. After the child wins some trophy she says for the camera, well now Nicollete will be working really hard to come back and beat her. So she better not think she can sit back with her trophy, no it will go in a corner like it doesn't mean anything, no our work has just started, or something to that effect.

Skater mom couldn't watch at the competition and made me nervous too. She cried in the hallway when alone. I kind of felt sorry for her because for once she kind of seemed bewildered by her feelings, where they come from or why she has them.

I just can't stand to listen to horse mom talk to the camera. She wants to analyze her daughters for the camera!

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Horse mom was just plain cruel. "I decided that I could scrimp enough to send you two to the horse show...." ( :green::bouncing::wink: )


"But I sent the forms in too late ...." ( :o:flowers: )


"I wanted you to know that I tried and I'm really a good mom ...." ( :unsure: )


"And guess what? They had a cancellation so you can go after all!" ( :shrug::flowers:)




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Vicarmac and Treefrog -


My reactions were the same as yours - it seems these parents keep getting worse! The dad and the lettter bit was over the top. The boy is only 8 and wouldn't start applying to MI for at least 9 years. They could have a totally new coaching staff by then!


I think the horse mom is a tad psycho - how cruel to toy with your children's emotions the way she does.

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