March 5, 2013

Children learn what they live – athletes too!

Tue Mar 05, 2013

When parents have verbal or physical disputes in the presence of their children, the effects can be psychological and long lasting, even affecting the way these youngsters behave when they themselves are in positions of leadership.{{more}}

This is no different when our young athletes are caught in the midst of squabbles between the adults who have been mandated to hone their skills and bring them to their full and true athletic potential.

The events that led to two of this country’s up and coming athletes being barred from witnessing their alma mater’s annual track and field meet last week are unfortunately not limited to athletics, but have been affecting youngsters in various sporting disciplines over the years.

The events may not be in the public domain, as was the case when Brandon Parris and Najee Israel were not allowed to view sports day at Thomas Saunders Secondary School, but the fact remains that the athletes are the ones who suffer the most, when coaches and organizations fail to make the best interest of the people they represent, their priority.

We have seen the non-functioning, and in some cases, the collapse of a number of national sporting associations, and one is left to wonder what becomes of the dozens, or in some cases hundreds of persons who make this event their pastime of choice, or even look to this sport for a professional future.

No institution is perfect, whether it is the family or sports, and there is nothing wrong with attempting to be the best in the field, or to have the best on your team, group or squad.

But whatever the situation, parents, coaches, associations and all others involved must consider the social, psychological and professional well-being of the athletes, especially the younger ones who are under their care.

What the youngsters see now may well affect the way they behave later.