Friday, March 7, 2008

Exeter High School Girls Basketball

Growing up in a large family where most of my brothers and sisters were athletes, sports were an integral part of our everyday life. I remember my father's exact words when one of my siblings would start complaining about a coach…”If you’re not bleeding, I don’t want to hear it”. Extreme sentiment? Possibly. But it effectively shut down the whining that has become so prevalent and accepted among today’s athletes. My father would no more have called a coach to complain about his child’s playing time, or lack thereof, than vote Democrat; he was nothing if not consistent. As I read the continuing saga of Coach Linda Wachter at Exeter High School, I find myself worried about the future of coaches everywhere.

We have become a generation of whiners; we think nothing of interceding on our children’s behalf for the most tenuous of grievances. And when our complaints aren’t heeded, we resort to name-calling. Ultimately, we are teaching our kids to expect an unreasonable level of comfort in every walk of life and it is a huge disservice. Bosses will not be concerned with how they word their instructions; co-workers will be demanding, across-the-board fairness is simply not attainable. If Ms. Wachter has offended the delicate sensibilities of a few girls, I shudder to think how they will react to a college level coaching staff. We seem to have forgotten that the goal of most athletic pursuits isn’t game time or awards. The goal of any athletic career should be the character building that results from having worked hard on a team, whether you are winning, losing, or sitting the bench. These are life lessons we are teaching our children, and I fear the wrong lesson is being taught. Instead of learning to push through adversity, we immediately look for someone to blame or we quit. Athletic participation isn’t a gift; it has to be earned. If that means putting up with a coach who doesn’t pull punches, then suck it up, put on your big girl panties, and get back in the game.


Deene Souza said...

I totally agree with you! I read a little snippit in the paper about some of the girls not going to the game and I was astonished. Such selfishness. What are their parents teaching those girls. But, I am an outsider looking in and I don't know the whole story, but on the surface, it doesn't look good. By the way, I love your photos. I think you and I actually have a heck of a lot in common, photography wise. I've read your blog on and off for about a year. It's great. You have great photos! I think you underestimate yourself! Your sports shots are awesome and I think you should really look into developing that side of your photography. Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and let you know you now have 6 readers. And no, I didn't vote in the poll. ;)

Nancy W. said...

Its such a sad thing. I see this attitude become more and more prevalent every year. Kids don'tknow their place, have no fear of/respect for authority, and expect to have all of the privileges of adulthood. What in the world do they have to look forward to?

it wasn't me said...

Dad didn't exactly encourage self-pity did he?