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Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't forget, they are only 13!!!

Don't forget, they are only 13!!
(by Mike Knighten...father to Reid Knighten age 13)

The quarterback took the snap from center and turned to hand off to the receiver coming on an end-around play. The defensive end crashed down on the left side and forced the runner to the sideline. All seemed right with the world. I let out a premature cheer of approval only to have my exuberance dashed as the runner danced into the endzone for a 30 yard touchdown. Thank goodness this was only a jamboree game.

As a parent, I have to constantly remind myself, "Oh yeah, they are only 10!" They are just learning the game of football that we as adults get so obsessed with at times. Yes, my son did his job, although he did not realize it. The two defensive backs behind him followed the quarterback as he ran to the opposite side before handing the ball to the receiver. The lesson we have to teach these players, not by screaming or by criticism, is to "keep your eyes open." "Things are not always what they appear." As the season progresses, they will learn to "stay home" and not bite on those type plays.

I will always cheer for my son and his team, regardless of the outcome. We often criticize young kids for mistakes like this instead of helping build their character through praise and instruction. Don't be a parent that lives vicariously through your child. Your children have a hard enough time in today's world without the burden of your short-comings in life heaped upon them as well. Go to the game. Cheer for your child. Win, lose or draw, hug them, love them, high-five them, knuckle-bump them and support them. In the end, you too will be a big winner!!

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