March 24, 2014
Some things more important than sports
It always amazes me how much emphasis is placed on high school sports.
The two columns, W’s and L’s, are held up by two factions: parents reliving their athletic inadequacies via their children or armchair coaches who come to the games and profess their expertise replaying the replay.
A conversation comes to mind as I was speaking to a person who was questioning the lack of a winning season.
The culture, I said, dictates the outcome before the first whistle blows. These kids are concerned about their next meal, where will they sleep, and will they live to come to school the next day.
No one comes to watch them. No one cares but his or her coach. Their coach wears more hats than the law should allow — coach, parent, counselor, nurse, cheerleader, mom, dad.
For many kids, this might be the only time they felt their life mattered to someone.
As a good coach, you hope in that short time, you have influenced them. You show them the way, the right way. You show them someone does care if they are OK. You show them someone is proud when they “do it right” and those who care will call them out when they do it wrong. As a good coach, you hope in this brief moment in their life, you have helped make a difference.
The W’s and L’s certainly are no measure of a program’s success. Unfortunately, many have made the high school athletic career more important than classroom education.
There will always be W’s and L’s. Learning to deal with the hand you have been given will far outweigh those who play with a “stacked” deck.
— LuAnn Lause, Lima