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More sports. More conflicts.
by Loren Stanton


January 12, 2005

Recently there was an article written in SI that addressed just what Mr. Ferry is discussing. It caught my eye because this fall during soccer season Hoopmania put on a series of tournaments and basketball classes. Of course they directly conflicted with soccer like never before. We understand that some seasons overlap and some seasons are at the same time. However, when an organization or coach starts making their sport year round (isn't it bad enough that swimming is year round) it is unfair to the students. If you want the whole article email me. The upshot is that a player should choose one sport and not split their time between sports because it is totally unfair to his or her teammates. Last winter there were several kids playing indoor soccer who were also playing basketball and swimming. In a few games their soccer team had to forfeit because they chose a swim meet or a basketball game over soccer. This is unacceptable. If you play a sport then you go to all the games and practices. Do not split sports because it lets down your teammates.

This fall during the outdoor soccer season tournament coaches scheduled tryouts for basketball teams. These same coaches said that if you did not show up for the tryout you could not play. Several soccer matches were directly affected by this move. Some teams played down 2 or 3 players during a tournament match! A master schedule of events is necessary. If someone wants to play basketball during the winter they should not have to force their soccer team to lose a tournament match at the end of the season just to get on a basketball team.

So it goes. More sports. More conflicts. More expansion of the time for each sport. Thus Ketchikan continues to choose more sports over putting all the best athletes in one or two sports. This is alright unless you think we should actually win against Juneau in some sports. As long as we keep adding sports and spreading out the talent that is our choice and the kids should play one sport at a time and realize that winning is going to take a back seat to participation.

Here is an excerpt or two from the article.

"I was just sort of stunned that a high school senior didn't understand the basic concept of team commitment and how it applied to him. So I explained that commitment to a team has to be 100 percent. It just won't work any other way. I told the youngster to make a choice, and he chose soccer."

"It goes beyond just fairness to others. The athlete herself benefits by being committed to a team. Players learn how to work together toward common goals and how to sacrifice personal glory (and ego) for the greater good of a team."

Loren Stanton
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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