“This year we are going to concentrate on personal development. We are going to teach integrity, teamwork and grace under pressure. Many of the athletic skills the kids will learn will not be important when they get older, but these personal skills will be.” Wow. In a day when the biggest sports news has been Tiger’s robotic press conference, another athlete trying to explain away his pathetic behavior, this was a shining example of what youth sports can be at its pinnacle.
The above quote is more impressive when the source is duly noted. Sitting in the pre-season Seneca Valley Lacrosse meeting, you may expect this from one of the dedicated adult coordinators. However the SV Lacrosse youth program is not coached by adults. The program is coached by college kids. Nineteen and twenty year olds, four of them, who dedicate their time to attend practices, coach games, and apparently have a far greater grasp of what sports can provide a child than many of us over-zealous adults. One coach has a double major, sociology and criminal justice, competes in lacrosse, soccer and football, but coaches youth lacrosse because he wants to give something back to his community. When I was his age, I barely had one major, played intramural deck hockey and tried not to schedule any class before noon and none of Friday.
Kids can look far and wide for role models; I hope my two boys realize that the biggest role models in their lives will be at practice March 6.