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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Travel ball leads to constipation

Dear Athletic Support: Every time we travel, my son gets constipated. I know this sounds silly, but since he’s currently on a travel-league baseball team, it’s actually pretty serious. The worst part is the constipation impacts his play. Generally, he won’t go number two the entire time we’re away from the house. We’ve tried MiraLAX and other types of stool softeners, but nothing seems to work. I know you’re not a medical professional, but I’ll take any help I can get at this point!

— Clogged Up

Dear Clogged: I’m not a medical professional, but my wife is a nurse practioner. She deals with childhood constipation on a daily basis. The number one reason kids get stopped up is because they don’t drink enough water. This can be especially problematic when a family travels. The more liquids a kid drinks, the more stops a family will have to make along the way. In your son’s case, however, it might be worth making a few more pit stops instead of him having to play through the pain of constipation.

Dear Athletic Support: Why are the salaries of key professional sports players and coaches getting so insanely high? Professional players, I guess I can understand. But college coaches are a whole different argument! If you cut their salaries in half or reduced them by seventy-five percent, surely there’d be other coaches still willing to fill these positions. Am I wrong to think this way?

— Ken

Dear Ken:You’re not wrong to think this way, but sadly, I don’t think we’ll see any real restructuring in regard to college coaches’ salaries. There’s simply too much money involved. Primetime schools make millions from television deals and other donor contributions. For many universities, the profits from the football program fund the school’s other sports as well as numerous academic activities. More wins translate to more money for the school. It’s hard to argue with money!

Dear Athletic Support: My son finished up his senior football season a few years back. At five nine, one hundred and seventy pounds, he was an undersized, hardworking offensive lineman. Needless to say, he didn’t get to play much, and I was okay with that… until Senior Night. My son went the entire game and didn’t even get to play one single down. Going into the fourth quarter, we were losing by more than three touchdowns — and he STILL didn’t get to play. Like I said, this happened years ago, but I just cannot believe this jughead coach didn’t play my boy on his Senior Night. Honestly, I’m not looking for an answer… I just needed to vent!

— Hot Rod

Dear Rod: I once had a parent berate me for not playing his son enough on Senior Night. In my defense, I did play him. He got to go in for a few snaps at the very end of the game, but this was still unacceptable in his father’s eyes.

Your situation sounds different, though. There is no excuse for a senior not playing on Senior Night. It’s an unwritten rule — a commandment — of coaching. Any kid who’s stuck it out for the duration of his high school career deserves to get on the field for Senior Night.

The fact that this is still bugging you — years after your son already graduated — is no good. I seriously doubt the coach did it as a personal attack. He might not even be aware of his transgression.

I’d urge you to call or email him about how you feel. Maybe he’ll apologize. Maybe not. Either way, you need to get this off your chest and move on.

Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Please use the “Contact” page at to send in questions for “Athletic Support.”

Previous Athletic Support Columns:

Collegiate sports for fun or money?
No right answer
Sunburns not part of the game
Summertime soreness
Vulnerability is key in uncertain times
Sick of COVID-19
Racial tensions rise as sports gear up again
Silver lining for post pandemic sports
Wearing masks to practice
Coach disappears after season is cancelled
What happens to the team if a player gets COVID-19?
Will there be football in the fall?
With sports gone, son’s grades tanking
Lost without sports
Teddy bears and tessellations
Cornavirus? We’ve got games to play!
Girlfriend getting in the way
A parent’s role when sports are over
Talk to your grandkids, carefully
At what age should sports stop being fun?
What ever happened to going door to door?
Lack of respect for track
Should my son take supplements?
I need your help
Help! My daughter wants to play football
Transferring to a smaller school: the good, the bad, and the ugly
What’s that smell? It’s not as bad as you think
A break from school but not from sports
Should a coach pray with his team?
Coach tells player not to shoot
Do nice guys (and girls) really finish last?
Coach cancels post-season awards banquet
No cellphones in the locker room!
Fake scholarship signing?
Withholding football as punishment
Sick and tired of losing
Late bloomer, a blessing or a curse?
Scholarship hopes dead, now what?
Is my son a butterfly chaser?
Don’t force sports on your kids
Hunting or Football?
Beat the Heat
Idle Hands
Coach’s son gets special attention

Published July 12, 2020

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