knoxville news
knoxville news
menu 2 knoxville food and restaurants about knoxville daily sun knoxville things to do 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: Practices running late causing problems
June 27, 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.”

Dear Athletic Support: My son’s summer basketball practices are supposed to be over at 11:30. Some days, they don’t let them out until almost noon. This causes a huge problem for parents like me, who have to ask off work to pick them up. None of the parents (myself included) want to say anything because no one wants to cause a problem with the coach. Honestly, though, I’m so tired of it at this point, I’m thinking I’m just going to have a talk with the coach. Surely this coach wouldn’t take out any frustration he has with me on my son, right?

— On Time

Dear Time: No good coach is ever going to let their feelings for a player’s parent interfere with how they interact with that particular child.

So the question now becomes: Is your son’s coach “good?”

The bit about holding the players longer than previously advertised doesn’t necessarily tip the needle too far one way or the other. Coaches are competitive by nature. They want to win, and the only way to do that is by practicing. So extra-long practices could just be a byproduct of this coach’s commitment.

I would say if this is an everyday occurrence — every practice, all summer long — then, yeah, go have a talk with him.

If practices are running long only occasionally, then let it slide and be happy your son has such a devoted coach.

Dear Athletic Support: My daughter’s coaches make them wear different color t-shirts on different days for practice. I think this is supposed to be like team building or something, but we don’t always have the right colors on because, well, frankly, I don’t have time to do that much laundry every week. I like the idea of the color-coded shirts, but it is a big hassle. Is this really necessary?

- Tired of Tees

Dear Tees: This is a new one for me. I’ve never heard of color-coordinated t-shirts for different practices. It does seem like an awful lot of work, on top of just having to make sure your daughter is at the practice and properly equipped.

Back when I was coaching, the coaches did the laundry. The boys kept all their “cloth” on a clip and we ran it through this huge washing machine and industrial dryer every single day.

It was by far my least favorite part of coaching.

Regardless, I feel like the color-coordinated t-shirts are a little much. I doubt this coach would dock your daughter in any way if she happened to miss a day.

If it’s something your daughter is really serious about, though, you might pass the responsibility on to her. If she’s old enough for school-organized athletics, she’s plenty old enough to do her own laundry, and make sure she wears the right colored shirt to practice!

Previous columns:

Softball games going past midnight
Are athletes getting better with age?
Are team sports a vital part of childhood?
Summer schedule way too serious
What if I can’t afford private speed camps?
Quarterback lacks speed
Should pro athletes talk politics?
How to take a hit
Wrestling in college, what’s the point?
Removal of mask requirement could cost us games
Overachieving daughter stinks at sports
Why are we playing all the small schools?
Freshmen don’t make varsity, usually
Kids have changed, haven’t they?
Esports and disc golf bigger than football?
Little pitchers have big ears
Pregame music offensive
Fouls in girls basketball
Red Shirting
Coach makes political post
7th grade girls basketball woes
Multi-million-dollar buyouts don’t make sense
Private schools have the upper hand
Best of 2020

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


knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2021 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy