On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 3/10/2015, 9:06 p.m.
Isn't it amazing that within a period of a week we go from down winter jackets to pullovers and hoodies? Not that I am complaining understand, that will take place next week when we get our eventual and predictable forecast of yet another cold blast. No matter the temperature swings normal to springtime in the Midwest one thing is certain, the spring sport season is upon us and with that is the parade of youth athletes taking to the soggy but playable fields to take up another fun filled season of competition. At least that's what we all hope for.
I recently saw a dubious statistic that among other things pointed out the ever growing number of players that choose the hang up their cleats before the ripe old age of thirteen! When polled, the overwhelming majority of youth athletes simply lose passion for the game due to a lack of fun. I have to admit that fact doesn't surprise me. I have attended my fair share of games as a parent, coach, official, sports writer and fan over the years and in nearly every season I have taken part, there has always been at least one incident that makes my jaw drop.
Regardless if it is an obnoxious parent, an over zealous coach or players losing their cool, any one of those mentioned have a direct effect of the rest of the kids participating. Why would any kid want to give up time with their family and friends to participate with an athletic team just to endure? I love ice cream...I mean I really love ice cream and will drive almost any distance for the perfect scoop but if I had to deal with a rude guest behind me in line heckle me cause I wasn't moving fast enough or a store clerk gave me the evil eye if I didn't tip enough or even if once I got the ice cream it wasn't all that good, well not sure my passion for ice cream would be the same. Same is true with sports.
Adults use a score board and point to it when defining the teams performance which is a sure fire way to lose 70% of the youth athletes before the age of thirteen. Not surprisingly, poor adult behavior is the number one cause of kids walking away. My advice to the adults currently planning a youth season...put the other three letter word "f-u-n" in front of win and you will likely win more than you lose this season even if the scoreboard doesn't agree.