The old saying “time flies” is overused but it is hard to believe that a new high school sports season is ready to begin.
Millions of high school athletes will have an opportunity to play on their high school teams in a variety of different sports. High school sports have changed greatly over the years.
The article by Bill Althaus on social media in last Saturday’s Examiner was excellent. It emphasized the importance for administrators, coaches, parents and players to understand that the presence of technology and how it has changed the positive and negative communication over social media.
Current high school athletes mostly play one sport and they play that sport all year round. You will still find a few who participate in two, but the three-sport athlete has become nearly extinct. That is too bad.
The primary reason for specialization is the dream of a college scholarship or a chance to move on to professional sports. The reality however is the same as it has been since the beginning of high school sports – high school sports is part of the learning experience for young people.
High school athletes only have four years to be a part of an athletic program. Hopefully in those four years they will have fun doing something they love and learn life lessons that come with being a part of a high school team.
We are getting ready to have our 50th high school class reunion. I look forward to a special time of sharing memories of high school experiences gained through participation in sports. It may be a last time to share those with many of my classmates.
It has always been my experiences that helped me share with young athletes the importance of making memories of their own through their four years of involvement in sports programs. Memories they can carry through their entire life.
I am told it is difficult to be a high school coach now because of interference by outside forces. That may be true, but the positives still outweigh the negative. The positive impact of life lessons learned through being a part of a team may be difficult to measure, but you learn how to be a teammate. You learn to sacrifice for other people. You learn the skill of setting goals that set you up to succeed in not only sports but in life.
The following is not fake news – of all the senior high school athletes this year, 98% of them will not play after their high school career. However, studies show that high school students who are involved in high school sports will go on in life to have greater pay and have a greater success rate in the work world than those who do not. So-called progress can lose sight of a true purpose.
High school sports are not the minor leagues for college or professional sports but provide an opportunity to learn the process to become productive adults. Most past athletes will admit that knowledge gained through high school sports and activities served them well in life.
High school sports create a platform for success in life. Integrity, confidence, pride, humility, discipline, mental toughness, selflessness, leadership, academic responsibility and accountability are learned through being a teammate. The greatest compliment any high school athlete can give to another is that they were a great teammate.
School sports are designed to set up a place for high school students to learn and gain these attributes. Student-athletes only have a short time, so take advantage of the opportunity. You will be rewarded tenfold.
• My quote this week is from Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Vince Lombardi: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.