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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Can’t go to her games like I used to

Dear Athletic Support:
I used to be one of those parents who made it to every single one of my daughter’s sporting events. That all changed this year. Our life was uprooted by the pandemic. I ended up having to pick up an extra job, and because of that, I’m no longer able to go to her games like I used to. It’s been hard, but it’s also been eye opening. There was a lot of judgement in my heart before. I can remember sitting in the stands, cutting my eyes to see which parents were there and which were not. There was a lot of pride involved, that’s for sure. I took pride in knowing I was there for my daughter, but now I see that it’s more about circumstances. Do you have any suggestions about how I should try and balance this out? I won’t be able to go to as many games as I used to, but I still want to try and make it when I can.

— Working Mother

Dear Working: Dear Working: Albert Einstein famously said, “Everything is relative.” And in case you’re wondering, yes, parent attendance at youth sporting events falls under “everything.”

A parent in the stands means a world to a kid, but so does a parent out busting her hump to make ends meet. Granted, a kid might not see it this way. At least not right now, but eventually, your daughter will realize the sacrifice you made to work two jobs, provide for your family, and still make it to a couple games.

For all the parents out there who are able to attend every game — enjoy the moment. Life can come at you fast. So be thankful for the time you’re able to devote to your children now. But most of all, don’t judge the empty seats around you.

Dear Athletic Support: Why don’t high school football coaches and referees have to wear masks on the sideline during games? This kills me. I see coaches standing face to face with players, screaming into huddles — and they’re never wearing masks! Then I turn on a college or NFL football game and everyone is wearing masks. Why isn’t there some sort of universal protocol for this, especially since we’re talking about kids!

Dear Masked: Many of my dearest friends are high school football coaches. I speak with them weekly. I can’t tell you how many hoops they’re having to jump through to make this season possible. And from what I can tell, most of them are wearing masks on the sideline. Best I can tell, they're required to.

So it comes as a shock to me that you've seen coaches without masks. The last thing any coach wants is for his team to have to quarantine. The coaches are itching to play, just like the boys.

Regardless of your opinion regarding the pandemic, lives have been lost. I’d be willing to bet every high school team in America has at least one player who’s lost a family member or friend. These days, a mask is more than just a piece of protective equipment — it’s also a sign of respect.

Outside of athletics, kids’ brains are also at risk. Who knows what sort of impact virtual learning will have on their cognition and critical thinking skills. In this regard, I offer one simple tool — a good book! And luckily, I know just the book for kids struggling with the shift to virtual learning:


books make brainz taste badOkay, you caught me… I’m the author of this book. It was published last week and awarded a #1 New Release ranking on Amazon. BMBTB deals directly with the same topic covered in this column, except in a much more lighthearted, kid-friendly way (zombie teachers and brain-munching screens!)

If you end up purchasing this book for your children or grandchildren, I only have one final suggestion — ask them to read it while standing up!

Eli Cranor's new book Books Make Brainz Taste Bad has just been released. ZOMBIES HATE BOOKS! Especially the zombie teachers at Haven Middle School. That's why they're using VR headsets to fry kids' brainz. Luckily, Dash Storey knows how to save his classmates from the zombie teachers—BOOKS! They make brainz taste bad!

"Eli Cranor has an almost unbeatable advantage. He can remember how it felt to think like a twelve-year-old and he can see the very same events like the adult he is. Don't try to resist this book!"
- Jack Butler, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author

Previous Athletic Support Columns:
ACL injuries on the rise in youth sports
High school hot seat?
Daughter rolls ankle: Time to walk it off?
College football cancelled but my son’s still playing
Shift to virtual learning causing lag in young athletes
What you look for, you will find
Back to school woes
Football guidelines a breeze compared to band
What to do if your season stalls
Left behind
Travel ball leads to constipation
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 October 18, 2020

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