Tim Crone: My parents were the model for all sports parents

Tim Crone
Special to The Examiner
Tim Crone

Last Sunday was a Father’s Day that stirred a lot of emotion for me. 

I was lucky to have two of the greatest parents. The day before, my mother Daisy Crone passed away at the age of 96. Jim and Daisy were the complete team. They were married for 62 years. Most of my life lessons came from them particularly through sports – high school and college as a player and later as a coach and athletic director. 

I would evaluate parents of my teammates and later parents of my players on how my parents would handle situations. My parents did not live their personal athletic dreams through me. They did not share credit for any of my personal or team successes. They did not try to solve any of my athletic or coaching problems. They simply supported me and all my fellow players and coaches. 

From day one my parents were the biggest fans of the teams I was a part of. The players and coaches became part of our family. My parents were the first to the games and the last ones to leave. Through the years they would feed teams I played on and later fed teams I coached. 

During football games, whether in Washington, Missouri, Gillette, Wyoming, Pleasant Hill or Blue Springs, my mom and dad would have enough cookies for everyone in the stands on many occasions. Her oatmeal raisin cookies were famous. 

The guys I grew up with in sports and the teammates I had in college would tell me my mom could really “burn.”  In our team vocabulary that meant she could really cook. 

Their approach as sport parents was to do what they could to bring a team together. Mom and Dad were perfect examples of what parents of athletes should be. Many of my teammates would stay with my mom and dad on their way through Kansas City years after we played college ball. 

It seems like many current sports parents have lost their way. They forget that the true value of participating in sports is learning life lessons and developing positive relationships. My parents were supportive of me, but in their eyes the coach was an extension of the team and family. 

If I came home and complained about a coach, my parents would have none of it. They told me to adjust my thinking. Most of my high school and college coaches have become lifelong friends. Their focus was to teach respect. They drilled into my head that the team came first, and my individual success came second. 

We seem to live in an “I” culture now, but my mom and dad taught me to attack life as a team player. It works! 

I was recently asked if I would do anything different or change anything in the past. My answer is a simple no, not one thing. I had the best mother and father who were able to show me the way. I have never won anything in a drawing, gambling or any other game of chance, but I hit the jackpot with parents that really understood the lessons of life. 

The quote of the week comes from the greatest golfer of all-time Jack Nicklaus: “It’s great to win, but it’s also great fun just to be in the thick of any truly well and hard-fought contest against opponents you respect, whatever the outcome.” 

Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at t.crone@comcast.net.