To Run Up ... or Not To Run Up

Your example matters! You influence others. Period. Coaches all over the country have forgotten that running the score up is poor sportsmanship, that beating a team by 50 or more is not "their problem" etc. 

Careful here - I'm not saying you should lose or roll over and play dead or anything like that. We play to win - virtuously, with respect and empathy. 

Because of poor examples in college and HS - now we have 2nd grade teams passing the ball striving to score again with 19 seconds left winning 30-0. That really happened - not an exaggeration.

If you show empathy - maybe a coach in the stands watching your game will decide to show some when his team takes the field.

Here is a great example from a team in North Chicago:

Bob Lyman introduced me to your awesome program. I have been teaching it to my lacrosse and football teams. I am a head coach for the featherweights (ages 8-11) in the Mundelein Junior Football League. We played a team this week that was down on their luck and had not won a game all year.

We scored on the first play and the second. We quickly realized that the other team had already given up by then.

I talked with my kids and told them to respect the other team and put yourselves in their shoes. I began subbing players and calling plays that would be more difficult to score on ...

A parent came down from the stands and yelled that I'm not teaching them the right lesson. Explained we must get ready for a playoff push and keep the starters on the field. Then other parents agreed. 

I then put the starters back in. My son ran 31 trap and was gone. He took a knee on the twenty. Came to the sidelines and said, "Dad you raised me better, take me out. I have nothing to prove." Then he handed the ball to the ref. 

Some parents wanted my head. Then suddenly the scoreboard went out and started to go off and on. We all looked at each other. Next the sun came out and shined on the scoreboard so brightly that you couldn't see the numbers. 

A mom who was getting a coffee from the opposing team walked over to me and said, "looks like God approves, Coach. I do too and I admire you."

My team and I walked across the field after the game. The coach stopped and hugged me. (Two grown men) He said your class shines brighter then any scoreboard. If you miss the playoffs you still made them in God's eyes! 

After the game one of the parents from my team who was screaming at me for doing "the wrong thing" came up to me to apologize and congratulated me for doing the right thing.

Amen, my friend, amen

Play like a champion, God Bless! 
Jim Lasky