knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville advertising entertainment knoxville obituaries rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices knoxville classifieds travel knoxville sports business lifestyle knoxville daily sun

athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: No right answer

Dear Athletic Support: Last week, all high school sports in our town got shut down. But my kid’s nine-year-old team is still playing in a tournament this weekend. I just don’t get it. How come we’re still playing but the big kids aren’t?

— Confused

Dear Confused: I’m guessing the high school sports were shut down due to positive COVID tests. Just because a varsity athlete tested positive, doesn’t mean every baseball diamond in your town is currently infested with COVID.

If you’re not comfortable with your child playing in the tournament this weekend, keep him at home. With the start of school just around the corner, parents will soon be faced with many similar (and extremely hard) decisions.

In the end, every parent will have to decide what is best for their child in each particular situation. There is no right answer, there’s only the answer that works for you.

Dear Athletic Support: My daughter is an AAU basketball player. We’ve been to a number or tournaments over the summer, and there’s one particular referee that keeps giving us problems. I don’t have issues with the calls he’s making. It’s his style that bothers me. He’s very brash. Sometimes, he even points at the girls when he calls a foul and says things like, “You know you did it!” I can tell this upsets my daughter. She never seems to play as well in the games he’s reffing. Is there some way we could get this referee removed from the tournaments?

— Ref Problems

Dear Ref Problems: Probably not. Instead, use this as a chance to teach your daughter about adversity. There will always be loudmouths. Sometimes, they’ll even be in charge. Luckily, this loudmouth is just the referee of a youth-league basketball game.

Have a talk with your daughter about the situation before her next game. Tell her to ignore the ref’s over-the-top antics and focus only on what she can control. If she can learn this lesson now, it’ll go a long way.

Dear Athletic Support: My son has played on the same travel-league baseball team for the last three years. During that time, we’ve taken one of his teammates to almost every tournament. In some ways, it feels like this boy is a part of our family, especially during baseball season. This year, though, things are different. His parents didn’t want him traveling with us to the tournaments due to COVID. The season’s almost over anyway, but this has been bubbling up inside me all summer. This young man is one of our best players. I just don’t think it’s fair for him!

— Mom Van

Dear Mom Van: Even if you’ve spent the last few years toting this boy all around the state, paying for his meals and his hotel rooms — you’re still not his mother. As much as you might care for him, you simply don’t get to make the final call when it comes to his safety. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and stay out of it.

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:

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

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2020 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy