Written by Erren Harter
One of our loyal listeners shared a story with me that deserves repeating. Please understand this is not a shot at any athletic team, but just about setting a good example for youngsters.
Roosevelt, Utah is a town of 6100 near Salt Lake. After Friday night’s game the coach kept the entire squad in the locker room for an hour and a half.
They weren’t talking about the loss. The coach was more concerned about the way his players were acting off the field: “Skipping classes. Not doing their homework. Bully classmates over the internet and; Disrespecting teachers.”
“Turn in your jerseys, you are done playing for Union High until you start acting right,”said the coach.
Each player left the meeting with a letter outlining the problems that needed to be fixed. The most important passage was this: “The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field.”
On Monday and Tuesday instead of practicing the team pulled weeds, washed windows and did other jobs at two nursing homes. The coach started study halls for players behind in their classes. Every part of the young men’s lives were called into question including their behavior at home.
Nearly everyone bought in and most benefitted. Player’s change in attitude was seen at home, at school, and in the community. On Thursday 32 of the 41 players were given their jerseys back. Some played in the JV game that day and all prepared for Homecoming on Friday night. The other nine still had work to do to get the jersey back.
I’m sure there was resistance, but generally the actions of the coach were well received in the community. The article suggested some thought he was a hero, but others agreed he was just “Coach of the Year.”
Raising youngsters has never been easy and with things like social media to deal with the job just gets tougher.
Many times on KVOE I have shared an idea we used in raising our boys. Our rule when they were out was pretty simple. We required them always let us know where they were. Factor in that most of these years were prior to cell phones and you understand my boys had a challenge. We expected them to call us anytime their location changed.
Not sure if that’s good advice for these times, but it worked pretty well in the eighties!
I’m Steve Sauder and there’s something to think about.