True Victory on the Field
“One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than a hundred teaching it.”
– Knute Rockne
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it again anyway: youth sports is out of control.
In my 13+ years of coaching & watching, I’ve…
- seen a 12yo pitcher look back at his father in fear after every single pitch;
- broken up an escalating fight between a 7th grade basketball coach and an opposing parent;
- heard a father brag to me, out loud, that his son played 48 weekends of baseball the previous year;
And, worst of all, I’ve…
- been chastised by an umpire for screaming in protest at his call on my 6yo, all the while I was donning a hat embroidered with our new sponsor’s logo: ScreamFree Parenting.
Thankfully, we’ve still got the young athletes themselves to show us the way. Surely you’ve seen:
- the miraculous gesture by the Central Washington softball team carrying their injured opponent around the bases.
- the incredible effort by the North Dakota cross country runner helping her opponent finish the race
- the beautiful assist by an El Paso basketball team, helping their disabled team manager finally score a basket
And it’s still happening. This past Saturday I witnessed a high school sophomore get benched for a freshman replacement, yet then be the first one out of the dugout high-fiving his younger teammate after every inning. When asked about it, this was his reply: “He was playing better than me, and he’s my teammate.”
(Apparently, thank God, that sophomore wasn’t ruined by his “ScreamFree” dad’s outburst at the ump all those years ago).