Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Teachers are they really the blame

After reading some letters about athletics and achedemics and having many conversations with parents and teachers, and being on numerous school boards, I just need to put my two cents in. In my years of either playing or coaching sports, and having sat in many offices and have heard many things about our children and have been asked my opinion on numerous topics, most teachers do hold our children to a higher standard.
Here lies the problem in my estimations of it, we all want winning teams. We all want automatic winners. When we don’t get what we want we need someone to blame. Why not blame the Athletic Director or the Principle, it is their fault that our kids are not prepared. It is their fault that our kids are not conditioned well enough to stay in the game. It is their fault that our children (little Johnny or sue) are a step slower on the field and in life then their competitors. It is their fault that the night before a big game or big test our kids were out until all hours of the night with their friends. I believe that to be unfair and they should not be the scapegoat for a system that is going to take time to get back to its winning ways.
We are all the blame. We never hold our children to a higher standard when it comes to sports or academics. I believe that when we reach the high school level, our children need to already have learned what it will take to become winners and not whiners. I believe that if we want to have a winning system, it starts at home. We need to hold our kids to a much higher standard and not accept average or middle of the road. Whether it be in academics or sports arena we need to raise the bar and then keep it there! Here is a little secret I want to share with you. If you want that sports teams to become winners, you need to start at least 1 year before that sport begins. Don’t think that just showing up the day of tryouts and then competing on the field 2 or 3 weeks later is going to get you to where you would like to be. If you all gave 1 year of dedication, the results would be amazing.
Don’t blame the coaches or teachers, they are only working with what we are giving them and in some cases, we are not giving them much. You want to be competitive in Track and Field, start working out now for next year. You want to be competitive in Football start training now for next season. You want to be competitive in soccer, start training now for next season. Training does not start 3 weeks before your first game. You should be thinking and talking strategy not getting in shapeat that time! If you did this, the coaches and teachers would love you. It would make their jobs much easier and much less stressful. I know that as a coach it really unnerves me when I have an athlete come to me with hopes and dreams of making it in Track and then going to the first meet and getting his head handed to him. Give me that child for a year of hard intense training and I’ll give you a winner.
Just the other day as I was leaving for Tennessee (taking my son to the Junior Olympics). I was getting gas at the gas station and noticed to kids no older then 12 years old coming out of the store with food in their hands. That wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t 2am! What were they doing out? I don’t want to know. Where were their parents? Now when they get into high school and they fail, whose fault will that be then?
We don’t need to point blame but come along side and help. Together we can achieve miracles. Divided we can achieve nothing.

Friday, August 3, 2007

It’s OK to be Second

“You can’t win all the time.” “ Just let them have fun.” “Let’s not ruin it for the kids”. “Billy doesn’t look happy, let’s let him win.” “Why try, I’m going to lose anyway.” “What’s the point in practice, I can do this with my eyes closed.” I can go on and on but let’s just spend a few minutes on this topic.

In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with America’s youth today. We are not challenging them enough to see them succeed in whatever endeavor they take part. We, as their parents, are settling for just making Johnny happy and not helping him go the extra mile to achieve even beyond what you can be imagined for him.

I am faced with this dilemma. I have three children and as their father I know what each one is capable of doing, whether it is in sports or academics. I know that if we, as parents, settle for just finishing or just getting good grades then that is all we are going to get.

Don’t you want to see your children exceed even further then you? How about being in the top ten in their high school class? Or being the best athlete on the field in whatever sport they are in? Or being both respected by their peers and showing respect for their peers in everything they do? Do you think these aspirations can be achieved by just getting by? I don’t think so.

We all have busy schedules. I work 15 hours a day, but always find time to spend with my children. It is draining most of the time but the benefit for doing this is priceless when their teachers tell me that they wish they had more kids like mine in their class, or coaches say they are needed on the field because they are one of the best athletes out there.

Our kids look to us for guidance. They have no clue what it is to succeed until we tell them that they can and them help them achieve their goals. Let’s not settle for just putting them in front of PS2 or the TV. Get them up, point out their strengths and help them find something that they like (outside of doing nothing) and then make them winners. Don’t let them settle for second place!