Letter to the Editor: Let all kids play

To the editor:

Being fans of Moffat County Sports, we attend games every now and then to show our support for the kids. We know it’s still early in the season so we might be jumping the gun a little bit by saying this, but we feel it needs to be said. We have noticed at a few of the games that we have attended so far this year that the same kids are sitting on the bench or standing on the sidelines during the games. We don’t see how they can feel like they are part of the team if they are either sitting on a bench or standing on a sideline hoping to play. That makes a lot of parents angry, not to mention the kids.

These kids were picked by the coaches, too. We feel they deserve a chance to play just like everyone else on the team. We’re sure they work just as hard at practice as their teammates do. So, coaches, please remember it takes a whole team to win a game and not just a selected few.

Richard and Liz Arquette

Comments

lduarte08 3 years, 7 months ago

I understand the idea of being fair is one that you would like the kids to be taught; the reality of the situation is that life is not fair and that sports are competitive. This teaches the players that they can not be mediocre to get by, but that they must excel over the others in order to play. This attitude will help them once they enter the working world. We live in a capitalist nation where you must be the best in order to be employed or move up the ladder. I feel it is our duty as adults to best prepare them for this reality.

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Cole White 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree lduarte08. Some kids put in extra work and try hard to get to be the starter and they should be rewarded. The problem is that it starts early with the coaches. Junior high ball has the same kids sitting on the side lines even when the score is 35 to nothing entering the 4th quarter. The same kids keep getting better as they get more and more game time and the kids that aren't hand picked will continue to ride the pine and not develope. Junior high, freshman, and JV are designed to develop players. What good does it do to have undefeated season in grade school, junior high, and JV when you can't produce a solid Varisty team or develop players who can take it to the next level?

Michael Jordon rode the pine a lot until late into his high school career. What would basketball have looked like if he'd of given up? He played inspite of his coaches and he alone carved his own future. His coaches and his high school do not deserve the credit. There are a ton of people who are never given the chance to play even when "the game" has been lost. You never develop any depth and you are never better than your worst starter.

We will always have starters and stars and will always have a second string and bench warmers......that is life. Unfortunately we have too many coaches who start making those decisions for kids at an early age. Besides, winning football games is just a biproduct of the game......if you aren't developing young men and getting them ready for the real world (which sports is so far from the real world its not funny because if it were all the star players would be millionaires and the nerds and geeks would be poor but that's not the way it is) you aren't doing them justice by getting them ready to play on Friday night.

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David Carrick 3 years, 7 months ago

It also is a matter of attitude. Think of this--some of those sideline-standers and bench-sitters are actually first string on the practice team. Without their top-notch performances in practice week in and week out, pushing the gameday players to excell and give their best, the gamers would never play to the level they do.

Let's hear it for the practice team...HOLD YOUR HEADS HIGH, GUYS!

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Gooseman 3 years, 7 months ago

I come to Craig every year during the fall for the hunting. I get to squeez in a few games every year. I was a coach myself for several years in another state. If a coach wants to be have a successful team, and I don't mean undeafeted. You are going to need the support from all the players, fans, and parents. I say players because I too have seen the kids sitting benches and sidelines. Someone above said that sports are competitive. Yes they are. But that should be at practice too. I am not talking about the warm up drills, conditioning, and that sort of stuff. I am talking about the actual team practice time. If you are only practicing the select few kids in actual play type senarios at practice, how do you know that those kids that are always sitting don't have the required skills that might just be better then your starters. I was just like that. Didn't give my sitters much time during a game, if any at all, and very little at practice. It was easier to hope they would quite then to admit I was not the coach I should have been. Early in the season it didn't matter what I did, I just could not get a win. So one day we were down and I put in a few of my players that never got to play. Their heart, their attempt was impressive. Now we didn't win, but that showed me that I was not correct with my choices on my teams. I spent several hours every night looking at the stats of every practice. More kids got to play, Our school seen a huge support from parents. Why? Because their kids were getting to play more. They brought their families and friends. It was a turn around for our school. Sports is not about the coaches, its about the athletes. You can make or break a kid. Give them some respect they will give it back.

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David Moore 3 years, 7 months ago

Gooseman, Thank you for a very well thought out, sensible post. I wish everyone would think like that but it won't happen here. Play them all and stop being so biased.

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dogfan1 3 years, 7 months ago

The original letter mentioned the kids who show up every day and practice just as hard as “the starters” but still don’t get to play. Well I’ve got news for you, not the case! The kids that start and play every game are the ones who put in the extra work, and not just show up and put in the bare minimum. They go above and beyond because they take pride in what they do. That’s what makes a great athlete, employee, business owner or person. You can’t be mad at the kids who play the most, they earned that! You can’t be upset with the coaches for recognizing the kids who put in the extra work. They want to and deserve to be out there. I believe that most of the kids who sit the bench are there because they don’t know what it takes to go above and beyond, or they lack the self motivation, or maybe they just have no athletic ability. All of the above can be credited to their parents! It’s your genetics that created that valuable little bench warmer! Might tell them to pay close attention in art class!

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moffat1 3 years, 7 months ago

You ask any kid who is in a competitive sport what they would rather be a part of… “I am part of a team that has won 3 state titles.” Or “I am part of a team that doesn’t win very much, but everyone gets an equal amount of playing time.” Remember some kids have enough talent to play college sports and get their college paid for. We can’t let them be standout players because we have to play everyone equally???

I feel bad for the coaches. They will never win. 80% of parents think their kid is the hardest working, coachable, most talented athlete who ever set foot on the court/field/mat and their kid should have the starting varsity spot. You have the parents that think everyone should play, we should mix teams. You have the parents who think we should win by 20 every game, and the best should play. You have the parents who think you should substitute players when you are ahead by 5. You could win a state championship, play everyone, and win by 20 and someone would still gripe. “Well only the seniors should play…. You should have subbed in at 13 points…. Johnny isn’t that great of a quarterback….” Most parents have an opinion and it is vocalized; in the stands, to their kids, and to the coach. Do parents really think coaches like losing by 20, picking and singling out kids, and not playing everyone? Don’t you think if a coach had a schedule that allowed everyone to play competitors at their own ability levels they would? Again coaches will never win.

How fun is it for a 3rd string player to play a 1st string player. And how does it feel for a kid with excellent athletic ability, who travels all over to sports camps, goes to every open gym, and hits the weights constantly to have to play with the kid who is late to every practice, never listens to the coaches and kind of likes the sport.

Not everyone is great at everything, let the kids that excel in sports excel and give the coaches a little credit.

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Cole White 3 years, 7 months ago

Moffat1 brings up some good points but I think what many are trying to say is that we aren't producing any top tier college athlete under our current model, we aren't producing any winning teams, and we aren't producing any winning seasons, so maybe the "model" we are using isn't working.

What credit are we suppose to give? Where I come from, you have a few years to produce a winning team in football or you are on the chopping block. I would be willing to bet you could bring the right coach into the area (football, basketball, volleyball etc) and they could take all the guys/girls who never even went out for a sports team and probably beat the current varsity teams. Usually in a school the size of MCHS, the best basketball and football players don't even go out for the team anymore because they get burned out by the politics of the sports (and YES the coaches are some of the biggest political advocates in town). I've seen it first hand where park and rec league teams (high school kids) have shut down the high school team because all the best players in the school decided to stop playing on the school team and play rec league because they couldn't stand the no-talent coaches kid who is the starting point gaurd or the crappy coach who centered every play around his average kid and no one else got a chance. Coaches kids, pet players, kids with family connections, etc are often the recipients of preferential treatment. You see it right here in Craig every year.

And while many people will use the argument that these are the kids who "put in the time" its only because when they put in the time they are constantly rewarded with playing time while the kids who says "this is bunch of crap" after puttingin years of "time" finally decides that enough is enough and decides not to go out for the team because nothing changes.

Moffat County sports always seems to be in this perpetual "rebuilding year" but they don't ever develop the whole talent pool, rather they focus on a small group of kids who just produce average results.

I love to watch Moffat County sports but I am going to have to agree with the people who wrote the letter and say that as long as we continue to coach our teams the way we have for the last decade we should expect to see the same average results.

And yeah! any kid on the team would tell you they would rather get some game time and win only one or two games across the entire season than get no game time and win three or four games. Simply put, our current strategy won't win a league title let alone a state title.

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moffat1 3 years, 6 months ago

I think that maybe you guys have it figured out and there are lots of coaching jobs open.... so you should apply and see how your philosophy goes.

I know of at least 6 kids from last years class that are on college athletic scholarships and there were more that were offered scholarships and declined them. I can tell you that those athletes were the ones putting in the extra effort. Ask anyone who went on to compete at a collegiate level, it is a full time job to be a college athlete and only the strong survive.

Good coaches want successful programs, that is why they offer hundreds of open gyms, open up the weight room and spend their unpaid summer traveling all over to camps. People can play the "last name card," most coaches want to win games and keep their job, so they are going to play the kids who work the hardest, and have the most talent.

We are on a constant rebuilding because we can't keep the coaches. Again, they never win. And until we can set a standard where kids work hard, have high expectations, and parents hold them accountable we will never keep quality coaches.

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Gooseman 3 years, 6 months ago

Just reading evey ones responses. It is very disturbing to see that a few of you can sit a down grade any person due to lack of ability or your so called gene pool. Look up bullying in the dictionary. Bullying is a form of abuse. It comprises repeated acts over time that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power with the more powerful individual or group abusing those who are less powerful.[2] The power imbalance may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. This sounds like a few of you. Our jobs as adults, coaches, parents, and fans is to try to ensure that each of those kids get every equal opportunity possible to succeed in life. And that is every child. Yes you are going to have those outstanding kids who have more talet then others. But I would never down grade a child or my team. If my team was not successful I should have made sure they were more prepared. If I had a child that was not up to par, I made sure they got the direction they needed. If you have kids not working hard at practice, who's fault is that. There is extra conditioning. But make sure to tell them why. Give them daily feed back. Give them respect, Give them equal opportunity to learn and give them some possitive motivation. Your lower level kids will improve. This will push your upper level kids to perform also. It's nature. Down grade, exclude them, be negative.Your results will be negative.

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Kody Linsacum 3 years, 6 months ago

Goosman and Highway 1340 both have some very fair and understandable points. It would be nice if everyone could play. It would be nice if every Friday night "under the lights" everyone got to go out and perform in front of their peers and family, but it’s just not fair to do so. I grew up in Craig and was the first of my generation to play High School sports in Moffat County. Let me tell you there were plenty of YEARS I didn't play and I stood on the sidelines and watched. My role on the team those years was not to play. I was not strong enough, fast enough, or knew enough about the game to play YET. My role on the TEAM was to learn my position, work hard, and give the starters the best possible look week in and week out so WE would have the best chance to win come game day. Don't get me wrong I wanted to play and I worked very hard to play but it just wasn't the time for that. I knew I had to earn that right to be out there on Friday nights. If you let everyone play then being out there doesn't mean anything. I would not have had that goal to work for. That lesson of working hard to earn a spot or chance to play has served me well through college, the Marines, and now in my career.

It would have not been fair to put my little Freshman, Sophomore and a lot of my Junior butt on the field during a Varsity game. I would have been crushed and the team would not have benefitted from all of us playing. The team did benefit from a bunch of young kids working hard and trying to earn a spot to play.

Where the "let everyone play" argument falls apart is in the lessons learned in not being allowed to play. Sometimes your best isn't good enough. It's just the way it is and that's ok because you gave it your best. Working hard and succeeding is great. Everyone feels good when that happens but working hard and failing is where the lessons are learned and character is taught. I'm glad I learned that in High School where parents and friends can guide you and soften the blow of failing than out in the world were things really matter.

Finally, everyone gets a chance to play. Some chances are better than others and sometimes you are just not treated fairly. You can quit but I had a coach tell me one time (when I was thinking of quitting): Anyone can quit. It takes no special talent or ability to quit. Everyone can do it. It's our fault as teachers, coaches, parents and adults that being the person out on the field/court/mat playing is what's important but not that you went out, worked hard, did your best and didn't quit

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stormy211 3 years, 6 months ago

Reading these pasts its aparent to me that some of you are either coaches or parents of a child who you think deserves the playihg time they get. How rude of you to post something that down grades not only a player but their family also. Let me ask you something, do follow all these kids that sit the bench or stand on the side lines around to make sure they arnt attending open gyms, camps or ect, or you just posting an opinion, if thats the case keep your opinion to yourself. I too believe that children should earn their playing time, but in most case some are never given a fair chance to prove themself and i feel that is wrong. Coaches are only as good as their worst player...

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Kody Linsacum 3 years, 6 months ago

Stormy211 I am neither a coach or a parent. Just a person concerned that important life lessons are being missed with the everyone plays and everyone gets a medal mentality. We are supposed to be preparing young people for life and it's demands. As I am sure you know in life not all play or get medals. Better kids learn it now so you are there to help than when when they are out on their own.

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