On youth sports and politics

Oh, interesting! I was browsing through my drafts (from a time when I was writing a ton more) and I came across this post – fully written and ready to go. I just never posted it. It’s dated 10/17/15 and I haven’t edited it at all (aside from a stray comma that didn’t belong). Funny how much this still applies, but in completely different scenarios.

 


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Since our move, we have learned a lot about small-town sports and personal agendas that go along with those sports.

It’s safe to say in any sport across America, parents want to see their kid be the star. That’s normal. What I have trouble understanding is there are some teams that aren’t really a team at all. It’s a hierarchy. Who do you know and what will it take to get what *I* want?

Fake friends aside, I think it’s the lack of integrity that’s so disappointing. Setting standards for a few kids and those same rules don’t apply to others is just confusing. Especially when the end result isn’t a positive one. It doesn’t make any sense.

The worse part of this is the kids know what’s happening. They see it. In some cases, the frustration level is so high because they can’t put their finger on it, but their gut is telling them something is wrong.

This is not how we teach our kids. 

It is our job to show them things are tough, things are earned, and what it means to be a team player. Yes, we walk onto that field to win, but first and foremost we walk out there as a team, working together to try to achieve that. Nobody rides for free.

Every position is valuable. Defense has the capability to win games. It’s not a dumping ground. Offense may score, but it’s defense that stops the other team. Try having a game with a single person team, how far will you get?

A coach is responsible for the training that goes into the team, but it doesn’t stop there. A coach is an extension of our community and our families. We trust in them to teach our children right from wrong (or in some cases, right from left). Just like the parents, a coach should help the kids navigate tough situations and making the right decision – even when it is hard. 

True colors have surfaced. I am disheartened.

Truthfully, maybe my expectations are too high. I expected more out of some. At the end of the day, it does no good to remain silent. All we can do is express our concerns and change our own behaviors based on what we know.

 

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