Tim Browning's Blog
Why Play High School Sports?
by Tim Browning
Lastest comment by mustangmoma 9 years, 6 months ago.
Last Activity: Dec 09, 2008 at 9:17 AM [Report Abuse] [Login to Blog] [Leave a Comment]

Take just a moment and consider these questions carefully:

1 What motivates a student to play sports in school?

2 Why would kids choose to play rec ball instead of the school sport?

What kind of answers did you come up with? If you are a parent answering these questions, you could find your kids answers to be different than yours. Try it! Make sure that you are in touch with your kids desires for sport to ensure that he is participating because he/she wants to.

If you are an Athletic Director at one of our schools I think the answers to these questions would be particularly important to you.

In an article written by Jim Louglin who is a college soccer coach and has a Masters degree in Sports Psychology, Jim jokes that "sports would be fantastic if it weren't for coaches, parents, and referees".

In the book JUST LET THE KIDS PLAY, Bob Bigelow, Tom Moroney, and Linda Hall suggest that "the solution
is not for the adult to look at sport through their own eyes but trough those of a child with the goal being to serve the wants and needs of the child at play"

Do we in Effingham county look at sport through the eyes of the adults, parents, coaches, AD's, or the kids? How do you think the coach or AD looks at sport? Well in my opinion there is a measure of pressure on our coaches and AD's to win. If they don't win they get replaced. Does that then put more pressure on the Coach/AD to win? You bet it does. That pressure gets pushed down onto the kids.

We must find balance in our school athletics. In some school sports I am seeing a lack of participation from the students and a move to a greater participation in the rec programs by those who would be a help to the school program. When I have asked these kids why they are playing rec the response is that its just not fun anymore or they don't like the coach. There is nothing new here. There will always be someone who doesn't get along with the coach for some reason or another.

How can we get more participation in school athletics then? Coaches and AD's be mindful of the fact that there needs to be some measure of fun to keep them coming back to practice. So you ask me how much fun are you talking about here? The best answer for that is the number of players on your bench. That should tell you if you are doing the right stuff.

Students be aware that school ball is also a commitment to work and not just all play. The benefits of participation include, meeting new friends, less time on video games, being active, and learning discipline (not found in most Rec ball teams)which will help them succeed in life.

Parents and coaches have a balance also. Coaches should be allowed to do their job without parents interfering in their duties. That doesn't mean Coaches get a free pass to say and do anything they want either. Best rule of thumb here for me is if the English teacher can't say it in the classroom you shouldn't say it on the field. Parents are often surprised when they find out that their Rec superstar won't even get to start on the school team. Relax, let the coach do his job. You won't change his mind. Have your kid ask the coach what he can do to get better.

We have some pretty good athletes in Effingham County. I would really enjoy seeing them all fill the rosters of our school programs but understand completely those who just choose the enjoyment of Rec ball. My hope is that all these athletes will use sports to achieve greater things in their lives instead of sports using them.

Last Activity: Dec 09, 2008 at 9:17 AM

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mustangmoma commented on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 at 20:04 PM


With the huge number of boys refusing to try out for SEHS basketball, don't you think it's past time for the administration to look into why no one wants to particpate?

From what I understand, there are very few boys who played last year that wanted to play again and none of the rising freshmen that played for SEMS tried out for the team.

I've heard from several of them, and the overwhelming majority agree that the coaching style, personality of leaders, and sheer determination to make the players "one sport athletes" is what has driven them away from playing.

You are right in the fact that most of these boys are playing rec ball, but I know my son would much rather play for his school. (To me, there's something really wrong when an athlete would rather play rec ball than for the pride of his school.)

Don't we owe it to these players to try and figure out what's going on and make school basketball the dynamic sport is once was...or are we better off to just let it quietly slip away and not give these players a chance at something they've been dreaming of since first picking up the ball?

Mustang Moma

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