NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

August 20, 2012

Oath for athletes, parents and coaches

Teachers, coaches, parents, classmates and entire towns do a tremendous disservice by giving a star athlete special treatment.

True story. After playing big-time college football, the most popular, best-looking kid in my high school class turned into a drug addict who robbed the unsuspecting, aging parents of his friends and lived under a bridge.

I always wondered if his receiving kid-glove treatment due to his athletic prowess was the reason.

If the kid deserves to be failed, fail him. If he deserves to be suspended, suspend him. If he deserves to be arrested, arrest him.

Here is some advice for athletes, coaches and administrators worth keeping in mind this school year:

From the ages of 12 to 18, there is nothing more important than being popular. From the ages of 19 to 99, there is nothing less important than having been popular from 12 to 18.

If all your friends are athletes, you are shallow.

A lot of middle-aged guys who can’t play ball with their kids today thought they were doing the right thing playing with pain. Listen to your body.

A real athlete never misses a game or a practice for a dance, a concert or Senior Skip Day.

Coaches Award winners tend to be more successful in life than team MVPs.

Humility is a virtue. False humility makes you a bore.

Your coach doesn’t have it in for you. Repeat, your coach doesn’t have it in for you.

Always give a kid a second chance.

Be a three-sport athlete. You think that 155th AAU game of the year is making you a better player? The number of athletes who do one sport year-round who blow out their knees or quit from burnout is frightening. Ask any college coach, they prefer three-sport athletes.

It is easier to get into an Ivy League school than to earn a full boat. And that’s a fact.

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