This blog was designed to aid in the promotion of attitudes that support a more intrinsic purpose behind sports participation, especially in youth, high school and collegiate sports. And to spark interest in my forthcoming book "Becoming a True Champion: Achieving Athletic Excellence From the Inside Out," which has the same general purpose, along with giving athletes the tools they need to become successful.
"Be an athlete who chooses their own path becoming one who makes a difference, and part of a team’s solution, otherwise your path will be chosen for you and instead of being a solution you become part of a team's problem."
I was on my way home from a tennis match with a friend of mine (we both play for our club team here in Naperville Illinois), and we struck up a conversation regarding our own personal experiences and perspectives on college athletic participation. We were both college athletes, he was a ball player at SIU and I a gymnast at NIU. What I found most interesting about our conversation was that both of us had the same viewpoint on how we saw our collegiate athletic experience. Basically, neither of us could even imagine going through college without sports; that we truly enjoyed the experience, felt we gained a tremendous amount from it, and would most certainly do it all over again if given the opportunity. Two athletes, two different times, two different sports, but with the exact same perspective. Interesting, especially since I hear so much of the opposite from other parents who have kids playing sports at that level. This is in addition to the good number of athletes themselves who are currently involved (or were involved) in college athletics and who echo these same opposing sentiments. I, as did my friend Jim, find this to be a little sad and a little disconcerting to say the least.
Below is a link to a videotaped recent incident of a coach pushing an 11-year-old out of a handshake line after a youth football game. It is obvious that the coach was very aggressive toward the youth; however, it does not show anything that might have caused such an inappropriate response. Take a look: