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Life Lessons

New Year’s Resolutions

There’s a new blog out there, with the mission of “Supporting Sports Opportunities for Girls.”

It’s written by Barb Lazarus, and the most recent post presents some thoughts on “If and When To Cross The Line From Recreational to the Competitive/Travel Team Level.”

The thinking and writing are clear and useful, and the light tone is a refreshingly welcome one in light of today’s announcement about the top sports story of the decade: Steroids and baseball.

If nothing else, coaches must aim to provide a safe and significant experience for those under their direction. An athlete with a good perspective on sports is more likely to resist any temptation to use performance enhancing drugs.

As one year ends and the ball gets ready to fall in Times Square, it’s a good time for all coaches to pause and think about what role they play in the lives of their players.

What will these players think about the experience 20 years from now? Blog author Lazarus says that in her blogging and camp work, she is merely trying to give back for all the good she received from her own sports experience. How many people will feel as motivated as she does?

As a coach, do you get frustrated or fascinated? Are you positive or negative? Do you care about the whole athlete, and not just about how many goals or touchdown passes they are likely to produce?

These are more than important questions. They are the only questions that should matter.

As we think about these issues, Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach has gone to court for the right to coach his team in this weekend’s Alamo Bowl. The school has suspended Leach based on complaints that he mishandled a concussion suffered by player Adam James.

I do not know the merits of the case and am not passing judgment. Instead I reaffirm to myself and make a New Year’s Resolution to remember more than ever that coaching is about the players.


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