Parents, you can make a differenceEvery parent professes to care for his or her kids more than anyone in the whole world. They will do anything, within reason, that their child asks. Parents will also spend exorbitant amounts of money on the latest electronic gizmo, on camps of all sorts, the latest fashions and just about anything else that comes along. I’m no different from most parents.
By: Don Leighton and Mike Granlund, The Daily Telegram
Every parent professes to care for his or her kids more than anyone in the whole world. They will do anything, within reason, that their child asks. Parents will also spend exorbitant amounts of money on the latest electronic gizmo, on camps of all sorts, the latest fashions and just about anything else that comes along.
I’m no different from most parents.
I want my kids to be better off than when I was a kid. They, in turn, will want their children (my grandkids, please wait awhile) to be better off than they were. That is the way things work in our society; each succeeding generation should be better off than the previous. So, with all of this concern, care and provision of all the best and latest, why were there no parents at the Superior Basketball Association annual meeting at 6 p.m. on May 14 at the Superior Middle School cafetorium?
I arrived at the meeting about five minutes late, sorry Mark, and was amazed to see the only attendees were two current board members and two members whose terms had just expired. That’s it. My arrival immediately swelled the attendance by 20 percent. I didn’t know I was so valuable. My good friend, Jim Jordan, arrived shortly after me, making six at the meeting.
I know a notice regarding the where and when was published twice in the Telegram, e-mails were sent to SBA members and notification of the annual meeting was placed on the SBA Web site. I’m sure the board did not expect large crowds, but nobody showed up.
The board members and volunteers that provide recreation for our elementary and middle school boys and girls deserve better treatment. If you, as a parent, have never volunteered to help or provide input or run for a board seat or look for ways to make your child’s basketball experience better, then you are missing a great opportunity.
The problem I see with parents that never step up to the plate is they are often the ones to complain the most and the loudest. Does it make sense to complain regarding something of which you know nothing?
Jordan and I attended the meeting because we care about the kids in this town. We want to see them have fun as young people and to become successful adults. We want to see the SBA expand and succeed beyond our wildest imaginations.
Our desires are not dissimilar to those of the board’s. Keeping the kids involved in sports is important in so many ways. I could go into my dissertation regarding all of the positives, but let me sum in a few words; being involved in sports can make you a better person and teach you many positive lessons about life. Is that not why we coach and occupy board seats and try to better recreational and physical opportunities for our kids?
The shortage of adult coaches and volunteer helpers is not isolated to the SBA. The SYBO is still looking for baseball coaches for their youth teams. The start of their season has been delayed due to the dwindling number of adults who fail to “step up to the plate” and help coach.
The YMCA is always looking for help to work with the young people in their programs. Every youth sports program in Superior struggles to find people willing to help and not just sit on the sidelines. For those who have been a spectator and never coached, have you ever noticed how easy it is to referee and coach from the stands?
I apologize for my rant, but it is very distressing that the adults are not helping those who need less material items, but need more physical and emotional growth; our kids.
Instead of seeing the glass as half empty and instead of looking for the negative, how about parents getting more involved in helping make these opportunities more successful? The SBA provides six months of practices and games, at a very reasonable cost, for your children.
We all have busy lives, but spending time with and for our kids to make things better for them should be a primary concern. Our kids are the future leaders of Superior and the world.
I’m not trying to tell you how to raise your children. What I am saying is be positive, quit complaining, try to improve what is and what will be, get involved and be more concerned with your child’s physical and psychological well-being. Having the best material items is nice. Having the best character is better.
To those parents who coach, help in ways too numerous to mention, and serve as a positive role model for their kids, thank you. ESPN’s Dick Vitale says it well when you are wondering what type of person you are.
Vitale is an ESPN basketball analyst and motivational speaker who loves life and looks for the positive in people and the situations around him. He asks you to look in the mirror each night before going to bed and ask yourself, “Was I the best person, the best friend, the best role model, the best teammate that I could have been today?”
You cannot lie to the person in the mirror. If you cannot look into the eyes of the person staring back at you, then you need to work harder.
Be the best person you can each day. Have a positive impact on your child’s life by supporting those who want to help. Parents are not the only ones wanting to help their own children — basketball, baseball, softball, YMCA, hockey and football board members want to help, as well.
Work with them, show up for the meetings and bring positive suggestions on how to make an already great program better. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
Before going to bed tonight, look in the mirror. What do you see?
Boyleing in the perkolater
• Tuesday was D-Day for local high school baseball; Don Dembroski’s Superior Spartans lost a heartbreaker, 6-5 to Menomonie after losing to them 10-0 earlier in the year. Dembroski loses 11 seniors including four-year starter Mike Swanson. Brian Olson’s Northwood Evergreens had another fine season and they only lose three seniors; pitcher T.J. Asp, Zach Haynes and Kevin Pagorek. Nathan Ahlberg and the Solon Springs Eagles lost to Luck in the regional semifinal. Billy Albano got them there with a one-hitter against Birchwood. Northwestern started the year with an “exhibition” win over Bruce, who went on to be ranked No. 1 in the state in small school baseball. Steve Lahti’s Tigers then lost 11 straight but finished the year winning four of six before the loss to Hayward Tuesday. Northwestern had only two seniors, Derek Leslie and Jacob Johnson.
A disturbing trend this year was a lack of players. South Shore did not field a team when they only had eight eligible players when the season began. Northwestern also did not have enough players to have a JV team and Solon Springs played some games with just the minimum nine players available. What’s going on here?
• Did you know that some states have slow pitch softball in high school? The state of Georgia has both slow pitch softball and fast pitch softball. What do you think Spartan pitcher Amanda LeBard would choose?
Following are a couple of health tips from Lance Boyle (Don Leighton) and Billy Pirkola (Mike Granlund). The tips will appear periodically in the weekly columns.
1. Stay away from blue food.
2. Lance Boyle’s reverse diet strategy: Lance always felt that trying to lose weight on some diet never worked. In fact, weight was usually gained. So Lance, with his “exemplary” thought process, would try reverse psychology. He would try to gain weight on his diet so that he would lose pounds. Do you follow? Limit yourself to nothing but spaghetti for one month; after two or three days you will be so sick of spaghetti that you won’t eat any more for the rest of the month. We heard Jackie Gleason tried this once. We can’t remember him ever being skinny, though.
The “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund will run weekly in The Daily Telegram. Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.