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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Best of 2020
January 2, 2021

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.”

I’ve gone through and chosen a few of my favorite questions from 2020. To everyone who’s written in — thank you! Happy New Year! Best, Eli

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: My son redshirted last year for an in-state DII football program. He mainly played scout team and got his head busted daily by the starters. I think he’ll have a good chance to get off the scout team next season, but now he wants to quit. He’s on scholarship, and if he quits, I’m going to start paying a whole lot more money for his school. Of course, I want him to do what’s best for him, but I also don’t want him to take the easy way out.

— Paying For It

Dear Paying: Freshmen year of college sports is a killer. It’s a completely different experience than high school athletics. In many ways, collegiate sports are a job. Class from 8-2. Practice from 2-6. Then study hall 7-9. Couple all that with in-season travel on the weekends, and it’s easy to see how young players can get burnt out.

However, quitting is never a fun option, and in many cases (like yours) it can be costly.

Maybe you should explain the financial situation to your son. If he quits football, he’ll need to recoup the expenses some other way. Who knows, maybe after you put it to him like that, college football will look like a pretty good job after all.

Dear Athletic Support: My wife and I are huge sports fans. All our kids are athletes too. We’re constantly coaching them about what to eat and how to get the most out of their bodies, but I’m starting to feel like my wife doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Over the last few years, she’s gained a substantial amount of weight. When she tries to talk to our kids about their fitness levels and health, I can see them start to zone out. I don’t want to come off as a jerk, but I feel like I need to talk to my wife about this. Is there any way I can have that conversation and not be in the doghouse afterwards?

— Physically Fit Father

Dear Fit: Nah, man. I really don’t think you can. If you feel strongly enough about your wife’s weight to have this conversation — you’re going to spend some time in the doghouse.

Good luck.

Athletic Support Columns 2020

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

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