Wednesday, August 1, 2018

‘Normal people turn into crazy people’ — sports parents aided by expert guidance


     One of the many benefits of working at a newspaper is that expert advice is never far away.
     When my younger boy decided to play football in the 7th grade, I was concerned. He had played other sports — basketball, baseball. But football seemed not just difficult, but dangerous.
     As I was brooding on this I noticed my colleague Rick Telander, nearby at a desk — not his desk, since he was never in the newsroom long enough to need one, instead traveling the world covering sports. He was once a star cornerback at Northwestern and drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. He knows this stuff.
     I told him my kid was starting football and asked if he had any sage advice. He replied immediately with one sentence:
     “When he gets his first concussion, make him quit.”
     Right, Rick was also in the forefront of moving the concussion disaster from guilty NFL secret to general public knowledge. I promised him I would.
     But most people don’t work at a newspaper. Which is why my attention was caught by a bright, newly published volume called “#HeySportsParents! An Essential Guide for Any Parent With a Child in Sports” by Sharkie Zartman and Dr. Robert Weil. The former, a five-time All American volleyball champion at UCLA; the latter, a Chicago podiatrist with a radio show, “The Sports Doctor.”


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3 comments:

  1. all three of my now grown sons played various sports. one of them is currently enduring the recruitment process for a college scholarship. we didn't let them participate until they were old enough to completely understand the rules and could play without needing the coaches to participate. around 9. they played in various leagues the best being Evanston baseball. the league is referred to as instructional. its not affiliated with little league and there is a zero tolerance for bad behavior for players, coaches and fans. same thing at the waldorph school they attended . no coaching from the sidelines, no addressing the officials or coaches or opponents. codified and strictly enforced. you'd get asked to leave and kicked out . they just didn't stand for it. Welles park in the city too. I don't understand why so many programs tolerate that shit. normal people crazy and crazy people berzerk. I coached and it was fun. only ever had to ask one person to leave , a mom. the money involved in travel sports and the notion your kids going pro are responsible for a lot of it. I kept my boys out of travel till 8th grade or freshman year, and never agreed with the coaches who tried to insist they play only one sport. its supposed to be fun to be a kid. and they shouldn't get their brains giggled to much

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  2. “enduring the recruitment process”?
    Really?

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  3. Why would it be tough on a 17 yet old to navigate the world of major college sports? Cause it's stressful and mysterious and something of a sewer. And it goes on for months . It's like interviewing for a job over and over. Would suggest a better agitive ?

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