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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Sunburns not part of the game

Dear Athletic Support: Have you ever heard of Accutane? It’s an acne medicine my son takes. One of its side effects is increased sensitivity to sunlight. That’s putting it gently. When my son gets home from football workouts, his whole face is sunburned. He’s been peeling like a snake! I’m all for him working out with the team, but I know these sunburns can’t be good. I’d like to talk to his coach and see if he could keep my son indoors until he’s off the medicine. Do you think that’s a bad idea?

— Scarlet

Dear Scarlet: Your son doesn’t want to be the only kid sitting in the AC while the rest of the team is out busting their collective humps in the heat. Trust me on this one.

Try sending a wide-brimmed hat to the workouts with your son. Tell him to explain the situation to his coach (athletes should always speak with the coach before a parent steps in).

Maybe the coach would agree to something like this: Anytime the players are outside without a helmet, your son wears the hat. If they’re already wearing helmets, he should be covered!

Dear Athletic Support: My son was the backup quarterback for his high school team last year. From the little bit I’ve seen this summer, it’s looking like he’s going to be the backup again. I’m not saying my son should be the starter, but he is a good athlete. He should be on the field somewhere! I asked the coach why my son couldn’t play another position, and he said he didn’t want my son getting hurt. I guess being a backup QB is more important than being a starter anywhere else on the field? That didn’t make a lick of sense to me. How about you?

— Dumb Ol’ Daddy

Dear Ol’ Daddy: There are a couple of factors to consider here. First, is your son really one of the best athletes on the team? If he is, it’s hard for me to believe this coach would keep him on the bench.

The only way this makes sense is if there’s absolutely no other option at quarterback beyond your son. Having someone who can run the offense is invaluable, and if your son is the only other player capable of getting the job done, it’s very important for him to stay healthy.

Dear Athletic Support: My daughter’s twelve-year-old softball team has a tournament scheduled for every weekend left in the summer. We’ve already been all over the state, rubbing shoulders with large crowds, and the worst part? My daughter’s not even getting to play! With all the health risks involved, I’m not sure if finishing out this summer season is worth it. — Right Field

Dear Right Field: Under normal circumstances, I’d tell you to stick the season out. It’s what you signed up for. Regardless of whether your daughter’s getting to play, she needs to finish what she started.

However, things are far from normal right now. If you feel your family’s health is compromised by traveling to these tournaments every weekend, then by all means, call it quits! But make sure that’s the reason, and not your daughter’s playing time.

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:

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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