Friday, June 22, 2007

Children come first

Hey gang:
As we get waist-deep into our summer sports schedule, I have a message to all you parents out there -- remember these summer teams are supposed to for the kids.
I'll speak in general terms here, but as a former coach I can cite many examples, and all of you out there who have spent anytime around a summer team know what I'm talking about.
You might think your son or daughter is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but obviously we all must take these opinions with a grain of salt. Summer time is supposed to be fun for your kids, but far too often parents place too much of a premium on how well their child does, or whether their kids is starter, where he/she plays, etc.
I know a lot has to do with the sometimes ridiculous financial burdens that come with being on these travel teams -- which, at minimum, can run upwards of $1,000 or more. For those of you saying, $1,000, that's seriously low, remember I'm talking bare-bones minimum here.
For an example, as a coach who does not have any children, I remember one summer paying nearly $2,000 out of my own pocket on travel, hotels, food, etc. and our team didn't travel all that much. I know of some teams around here that seem to be playing down south every week.
It all adds up to big-time money.
But just because your son or daughter is hitting seventh in the lineup instead of fourth, or playing midfield instead of striker, or sitting the bench instead of starting, doesn't justify making your child miserable for the summer.
Be happy your child is on the team. Remember, they're there because they want to be there and they love the game. Share in your child's highs and lows because as a parent, that's the best way to support him or her.
Not every child is a superstar, or even a starter for that matter, but they're all important members of their team.
Take care and God bless.

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