Corona Virus Quarantine Day #146: I Love Sports: August 13, 2020:
Welcome my guest writer today Bryan Dorsey!
I love sports. I equally hate what they can bring out in people. While most of the COVID impact has seemed to be “daily” – meaning people are focusing their immediate concerns and opinions about being able to play in the “now” – I have been more interested and concerned about the longer-term impact on players and parents when sports do normalize again.
Nancy and I have coached together for roughly 20 years. We often say that we have seen every type of player, every form of parent and every possible situation that can confront an individual or team. There is almost always a very consistent theme as an underlying factor of issues.
I’ll be honest – I am worried about the aftermath of COVID. Sports brings out emotions. I have no doubt that most of you reading this felt immense happiness when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl last year. That result, I assume, had nothing to with any of us directly (although, I was standing in my lucky spot when wasp came through – so you are all welcome). Unfortunately, they can also bring an equal and ugly unhappiness when things don’t go our desired or envisioned way. That emotion can escalate even more when one of our kids is involved in the equation.
I know I had an initial expectation, or blind hope, that when sports came back, all kids and parents would be ecstatic to even have the opportunity to play again. I have seen players come back from year-long injuries before and their mindset was that of gratefulness and joy just to have the opportunity to compete once again. I told the girls this week at camp that I witnessed one of the most competitive volleyball matches I have ever seen this summer at our barn. Yes, it was a collection of talented collegiate players – but, more importantly, it was a group that didn’t have the chance to compete against other players for quite a while. I would contest they competed as hard, and with a joy and energy, that rivaled being on the floor of a NCAA tournament game. It was truly a joy to watch, as they seemed to understand that the daily opportunity to compete was soon going to disappear from their lives. I have always thought the perfect team to coach would be that of kids 1-year out from high school – the “if I only knew then what I know now” mentality!
Thus, if you are parent of a player reading this, or even a player, please approach your sport this season with gratitude and appreciation of the opportunity to compete. Many kids didn’t get it last spring. Many won’t get it this fall or winter. Each day we get this year is a gift.
Please know this – coaches want to play. They want an opportunity to work with your child and to see what they can do to make their team as competitive as possible. They are working tirelessly to try and find a way to make it happen. I am not exaggerating when I say Nancy has been on a local, state or national call nearly every day since May to figure out what is possible. Another friend brought his team over at 6am this summer because they just wanted a chance to play together.
If the season does get cancelled, or if there are disruptions, please be understandable of the uniqueness of the season. If your child isn’t playing on the team you envisioned, or the position desired, I would ask that you take an extra moment this year and remind yourself that any team, any position, is 100% better than no opportunity.
I still love sports. I will always love sports. I will never stop trying to show kids the beauty of sports and the life lessons represented by sports. In so many ways, our mentality towards sports needed to push the reset button. Please be a part of that reset and enjoy the good in sports.