First and foremost, let me say – as I’ve often said – that Madisonville and North Zulch students are among the most polite and respectful I’ve ever encountered. But coaches these days do have challenges.
I’m not saying difficult parents exist in Madison County, but … There are parents out there who blame the teacher if their kid makes a bad grade, or accuse the coach of not playing little Johnny on the football team because he doesn’t have any relatives on the coaching staff.
I know, I know. Some guy who knew some guy who played a season for the Cowboys said little Johnny would go pro someday. Consider that someday is not when he’s 14 years old and weighs 130 pounds.
My parents were always supportive of my short-lived high school softball career, but they knew I sucked and I knew I sucked, and frankly, I was terrified if a ball came at me in right field, so I was happy to sit on the bench and have oranges and Gatorade while my friends did the dirty work. It was an arrangement that worked well for everyone involved.
Sometimes I think the parents want their kids to play more than the kids want to play.
I asked MCISD Athletic Director Rusty Nail if he’s hearing from parents and booster club members about how to run his team.
I think maybe he laughed, but the answer was no. He has received plenty of phone calls from parents and fans, but they’ve only wanted to offer words of thanks and support.
I’m happy to hear that. I also would be happy to think that parents are letting coaches and teachers do their jobs, and occasionally those jobs involve making your precious baby run bleachers or do push-ups or whatever the kids do these days. That’s not bullying. That’s a workout. And it will make your kid a better athlete.
I can assure the worried parents out there that the local coaches do a good job of making sure the kids stay hydrated and healthy. Have a little faith in those coaches. They know what they’re doing. Maybe the choice to not start little Johnny the string bean freshman will save him an injury and allow him to spend some time learning from his peers.
April Towery is the sports and education editor for The Meteor. She can be reached at (936) 348-3505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.