Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 8/6
By Tim Crone former Blue Springs Activities Director
Time, one sports season to the other, seems to fly by. The fall high school sports season will be in full swing in less than two weeks. In my book there is nothing better than a beautiful fall Friday night for a high school football game.
So many high school students are involved – football players, band members, cheerleaders and the dance team. The season is so much a core of our society that books have been written and movies screened detailing the spirit.
Many have criticized the emphasis on sports and winning. I have written again and again about the importance of not losing sight of the life lessons gained from participation in high school activities. I challenge anyone to find another place in our society that teaches and defines the word TEAM like high school sports.
Approximately 98 percent of student athletes will play sports only in during their high school years. That is why it is important for coaches and administrators should understand that sporting events are not about winning; but rather about providing a unique opportunity to learn sacrifice of individual achievement for the greater good of the team.
The “me” and “I” mentality can be prevalent in our society and it is not uncommon for outside forces can cause young athletes to focus inordinately on themselves. It can be difficult for student athletes to convince their parents and family members that team is more important than individual achievement. There were a multitude of situations during my 37 years in high school sports when it was more difficult to coach the parents than to coach our athletes. That said, I still believe everyone, down deep in their hearts, realize the overall benefit of involvement in high school activities.
It is also important for athletes to learn how to compete. Life is one continuous competition. If you can learn to compete in a positive way early you will be a success in life. There is nothing wrong with competition as long as you can handle both the wins AND the losses.
I used to tell the kids all the time, the more you go to the well the easier it is to drink. Competition in the high school arena teaches young people accountability so they can make adjustments in all areas of their game. It seems basic but is a great lesson in life.
Another important facet of competition is that it tends to teach the ability to handle pressure. It can prepare students to be stable, poised and energized by heightened intensity. I heard this quote from the first football coach I coached with. Coach Jim Scanlan from Washington, Missouri stated, “The strength of the tree comes from growing thicker in the good years when there is water, but staying alive in the bad, dry times.”
Finally, high school activities teach young people to love the moment. People over 30 have a deep understanding of that lesson. You only get one trip through time so enjoy it to the max. If you win a championship or excel in an activity, it is likely you will remember that event in a positive way for the rest of your life.
Any high school activity that can drive a student will ultimately be rewarding. Competition creates focus and concentration and allows participants to rise to the occasion when the stakes are high. Enough of my preaching about the positive virtues of high school sports and activities - I wish every high school student the best of luck this season. Enjoy the adventure - it can one of the most rewarding and special times of your life.
My quote of the week comes from Joe DiMaggio the Yankee Clipper, “If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don’t do it, and it won’t happen. I have never seen it fail. Live in hope and die in despair.”
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