Video of 'pushy' dad shoving son to ground to save goal goes viral

A “pushy” father’s efforts to help his son save a goal backfires after a video of what he did went viral. 

Phil Hatfield was watching his 6-year-old son’s soccer game when he decided to interfere.

Hatfield's son, Osian was the goalkeeper during an 8-under game between the Bow Street Magpies and Ysgol Llanilar.  Standing next to the goal, Hatfield noticed that Osian wasn’t paying attention and was veering away from the center of the goal.  According to Hatfield, 

"I was telling him to stand in the middle of the goal but he couldn't hear me and walked towards me as their player advanced.”

WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE

However, as Osian walked towards him, Hatfield saw that an opponent was kicking the ball to the goal. His instincts drove him to push his son toward the direction of the ball. This caused Osian to fall to the ground and prevent a goal in the process. However, the ball he deflected moved to the direction of another opponent who successfully kicked it into the net.  Out of exasperation, Hartfield turned away and left the field. 

MORE THAN A SOURCE OF AMUSEMENT

Hatfield’s actions were caught on video and though it started off as amusing when it went viral, it also raised a lot of eyebrows. The fact that he shoved his son didn’t sit well with the Football Association of Wales. A spokesperson for the organization said, 

"While we appreciate that this video has gone viral and that many find it humorous, as a governing body we promote a sage and enjoyable environment for children of all ages to play football.”

THE FATHER'S SIDE OF THE STORY

Hatfield denied pushing his son and defended himself by saying he merely gave him “a little nudge to persuade him to move towards the player.” The father maintains his son fell because he “tripped over his feet and went down.” 

The game eventually ended in a 2-2 draw but it didn’t end well for Hatfield whose behavior raised issues concerning the code of conduct of parents and spectators. 

In light of the matter, Hatfield said he would no longer be attending his son’s next match and promised not to interfere in any way the next time he watches his son’s game.

"I've promised him that next time I watch, I will not even talk to him, let alone step over the touchline."

A LESSON ON PARENTS' OVERINVOLVEMENT

It is common for parents to become invested in their children’s lives and that includes their participation in sports. However, the lines could get blurry when parents start to become too involved for their children’s own good. 

According to Dr. Jim Taylor of Psychology Today, parents have a tendency to project their own needs when steering their children into becoming the best athletes. Instead of thinking of their children’s welfare, parents can sometimes get too involved in the sport that it becomes a personal goal rather their children's. When this happens, their children lose ownership of the sport and are burdened with trying to make their parents happy instead of satisfying their own needs.  Thus, parents must learn to manage their participation in their child’s sport by not losing perspective. They must realize that it is essentially not their journey but their child’s. 

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