The T-Shirt Every Youth Sports Parent Should Be Required to Wear.


I saw this today.Best Shirt Ever.  And Smartest.

And it made my summer.

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Why Exactly Do We Want Fans?


The Evil Spawn loves sports

I used to.

I don’t remember the exact date my relationship changed with athletics, but it was around the time I became a principal.

That’s when I started watching the crowd instead of the game.

No longer was I focusing on the players.

Now I got to spend hours and hours watching people scream. 

Scream at the game.  The referees.  The coaches.  The scorekeeper.  The players.  And on very special occasions when they just couldn’t take it anymore… each other.

I’ve never understood this.

If you ask parents (and grandparents), they will tell you they love their children’s games.  They look forward to them.

They plan their schedules so they can be there.  They make sacrifices to get their children to practices.  They commit their hard-earned money to shoes and equipment.

Yet, as I look up into the crowd I don’t see a lot of happiness and smiles.

I see anger, paranoia, nerves, and bitterness.

Why is this?

Why can’t people take athletics for what they are.

They are a moment in time.  They are life.

And just like life, they don’t always turn out the way you want.

Sports should be used as a teaching opportunity on how to deal with success.  And failure.

How to get along with others.  How to find your place in a situation bigger than yourself. 

How to lose (and just for the record… losing is okay).

Kids should grow up and only have wonderful memories from their time participating in athletics.

They shouldn’t leave the experience with a headache from all the screaming.

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Parents and Coaches See Things From Different Perspectives.


coachhatEveryone has a tendency to see the world from their own unique perspective.

Democrats see it one way.

Republicans see it another.

It doesn’t make them wrong.

Actually, it makes both sides wrong and absolutely clueless, but that’s another blog (is a Moderate 3rd Party too much to ask for?)

Students see the world differently than teachers.

Young adults have different ideas and views than older ones.

It’s good to have diversity of opinions.

You see it in music.  Every generation is drawn towards a new (and usually louder) style.

Every prom since 1900, parents have been convinced the world is about to end because of the inappropriate way teenagers dance (personally, I blame Glenn Miller, Elvis, Axl Rose, and Lady GaGa).

Of course, they’ve all forgotten how disturbed their parents were when they danced (little heathens).

But these differences are good.

They’re what makes the world go round (actually it’s love).

I see the same thing with parents and coaches.

They couldn’t be more opposite in how they view things.

And by things, I mean playing time.

Coaches aren’t perfect (trust me, I was one…  in a life far far away).

But all coaches are generally trying to accomplish the same goal.  They want to win (and of course, help produce upstanding citizens who pay taxes, obey laws, and mow their lawns).

They may not play the same players we would, but they believe they’re being as fair as possible.

Seldom are they not giving someone a chance because it’s part of a sinister master plan.

Parents see things from a different angle.

Usually the same angle they first viewed during childbirth (which by the way… wasn’t the most pleasant sight for me…).

They are locked in on their own kid, sort of oblivious to everything else (and all the other people’s children).

I came up with this theory (and thousands of other ones) over the course of talking to hundreds of parents.

I’ve yet to meet the mom or dad who is upset because the coach plays their child TOO much.

After all of these conversations about how a coach is ruining everything (i.e. college scholarship), I’ve yet to hear the following even once.

My child shouldn’t be starting.  My child shouldn’t get so many__________ (shots, serves, at-bats, carries, receptions, goals, hits, spikes, chances, opportunities, etc.).

I’m still waiting for the parent who requests a coach who yells more, practices less, and pays little or no attention to their kid.

I keep thinking after all of these years, I will eventually run into someone who sees what the coach sees.

But it’s never happened and probably never will, but I guess that’s okay.

The coach shouldn’t see things the same way parents do.

After all, the parents were at the hospital the day their child was born and the coach was probably at practice.

And those are two way different jobs.

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Sports Are Fun. Testing Not So Much.


I have gone through different stages in my life.

From long-hair to shaved (again, way cooler than bald).  From student to superintendent (I haven’t been out of school since 1972).  From poor to making money and still being poor (why do bills arrive in direct proportion to the amount of money you earn?).clip_image001

Politically, I’ve gone from being a Democrat to Republican to Independent to Disenchanted to Just Confused and Hurt.

I’ve also been through stages regarding the amount of importance I place on athletics.

When I was a kid, there was nothing more important.

My world revolved around anything and everything that involved a bat, ball, club, basket, goal, or a game.

I knew every player (and their stats… and sadly, birthday) in every league.  Including hockey and indoor soccer (Go St. Louis Steamers!!!).

Then I grew up (sort of) and became a coach.  I still took sports seriously, but I began to see it wasn’t the only thing that mattered.

Losing does that to you.

After giving up coaching (I think it was my decision), I became a school administrator (also, my decision… I think).

At this point in my life I began to see athletics were just one of the many things that drove me crazy and made my phone ring (landline… old school).

Sports became less fun and more of a hassle.

I began to see athletics as a bother.  I was confused as to why parents didn’t care about testing as much as they did about sports.

Now I’m starting to come full circle.

Maybe I’m growing.  With age comes wisdom (at least that’s what old people tell young people).  Or more likely, I’m just a little less stupid (I’m so old, I remember when stupid was a bad word in school).

As I head into my golden years, I’m beginning to see there’s nothing more important than athletics.  Especially to a small town.

It’s the one thing that ties people together.

Successful small-town sports are like the Olympics.  People will support them even when they don’t personally know the participants.

Or understand the game.

I don’t have a clue about curling, but I’m the #1 fan every four years when the Winter Olympics is on 27 hours a day (USA! USA! USA!)

Community members behave in much the same way.  They may not like football, but if their favorite bag boy at the grocery store is the quarterback… suddenly they have a rooting interest.

They like the feeling they get when their team is doing well.

I’m willing to bet I could go to any town in America and spot a person wearing their high school colors within 2 minutes.

This is because people love belonging to a group.  This feeling is magnified when the group (team) is successful.

Schools and sports can provide this at a local level.

And at a much cheaper price than college or professional sports.

This is why, now and forever, people will always be more passionate about their kids (or neighbors) playing a game than they will about test scores.

It’s just more fun.

I’m not saying this is right.  I’m just saying this is the way it is.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.