Just a few thoughts on the battle for the championship | Column
by The Press and Standard | June 23, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: June 20, 2018 at 9:34 am
Everyone knows how much I enjoy All-Stars each year. It is such a special time where our community is represented by the best players in their division as they battle for the chance to be champions.
After fielding multiple All-Star complaints over the last several weeks, I’m going to throw out my opinion. While it is my opinion, it is a well-informed one based on a lot of coaching and a lot of years of participation in All-Stars.
1. Don’t vote on head coaches. Hands down, the head coach should be the coach that wins the division. Honestly, voting on a head coach makes little sense. If the head coach chooses not to accept the honor, then it goes to the runner-up in the division.
2. Pick the best 12 players in the division — regardless of skin color, who their parents are, if they can sponsor the whole team or pay for your airfare to Bermuda. Let me repeat this — pick the best 12 players. If they have transportation problems, pick them up. If their mom or dad is a lunatic or you don’t especially like them, give them the benefit of the doubt and establish rules. PICK THE BEST 12. If a player isn’t a team-player or has a negative attitude that will not be representative for Colleton County, that is different.
3. Each coach should submit his BEST players for All-Star consideration — but the head coach should also have the responsibility of battling for players who are NOT submitted if he/she believes they are a better fit. Not picking the best players not only hurts the chances for a solid showing in the tournament, but is unfair to the players who are deserving of the opportunity.
4. Have a team meeting before you step on the field where parents are expected to attend. Establish rules including not missing practice or going on vacation, being on time, being respectful, conducting themselves as they should, committing to being at every practice and every game, etc.
5. Have a practice plan. Keep parents informed. Be knowledgeable of the rules for All-Stars. Be professional. Conduct yourself as you should — and dress the part. Be the best role model you can be to these players.
6. As parents, we all want our kids to be All-Stars and they usually are in our eyes. But, here is the real deal — sometimes they aren’t. Down the road, they won’t always be seen as the best at the game. That is life and it really is ok. Instead of telling your children they’ve been wronged, teach your children to work harder and love the game more. Trust me, it will pay off.
7. Leave the game on the field. Don’t rehash things to death in the car or at the dinner table. (I’m super guilty — just ask mine.) Let them love the game and talk about it when they want to!
8. Running poles is part of the game, as is discipline and being corrected. Expect it and accept it. Your child isn’t being punished — they are being coached.
9. Thank people: the coaches, the recreation department staff, the other parents, the players. “Thank you for taking the time to coach this team.” It rolls off easily and means a bunch.
Here’s to the BEST All-Star season for Colleton County!! Play Ball!!
(Cindy Crosby is sports editor of The Press and Standard. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)