I only allow myself one day a year to get negative and air out some of the things that bother me. This is that day for my sports rants. Living in Chicago, thus I talk of the Chicago teams.
This first rant may make me a hypocrite, but so be it. If I can be negative a day I should be allowed to be somewhat hypocritical. Here's why. First, from a line from the recent Joe Purdy album "Listen all you children of privilege, because I am one of you." I understand that, as I have a World Series ring from the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers. It is modest by world rings comparison, but elegant and classy. I could wear it without getting much attention, to it, although I rarely wear it.
My point. Should there not be some outrage from somebody about what the Chicago Cubs spent on their rings. Do the math from what I heard reported the rings are worth $70,000 and the Cubs were generous, and classy, to give them to many others, besides the players. I heard upwards of 1900 rings were given out. I know not all of them were for the full seventy grand but still. Where does it all end? Will next year's World Series rings be even more expensive. That total is unbelievable.
What will be next?
108 diamonds for every year of past futility and tons more diamonds for whatever enough, and more than a little overkill. I know the Cubs and the Rickett's family do a ton for charities and the less privileged, so I do not want to suggest otherwise. But, when they win the next one, probably in the near future, I suggest keeping it modest one diamond? and using the money allotted to a more charitable endeavor. I believe the players would be on board and would like something they could wear in public and truly repay the fans by using some of the ring funds to lower prices for everything Cubs. Doubtful? What good is a ring if one cannot wear it without risking getting it ripped off or having so much attention on it that players cannot enjoy some family time when wearing it.
Kudos to the Chicago Bulls and coach Fred Hoiberg, who was recently voted the worst coach in the NBA by some group. For so long now, the Chicago media has denigrated the Bulls chances in the playoffs. Furthermore, they kept suggesting it would be better that they did not make the playoffs, so they could get a better draft pick. Come on there is only one reason to play the games at that level and that is to win. I realize some teams may tank, but not teams with superstars like Dwyane Wade and Jimmie Butler. Maybe the Bulls will still blow it against the top-seeded Boston Celtics, but I hope the local talk show guys apologize for their constant negative talk about the Bulls chances. Never, never count the great players out. As they say, that's why they play the games go Bulls.
That sentiment can be repeated with the plight of the Chicago Blackhawks, whose fortunes are the direct opposite of the Bulls. Everyone thought they would roll through the playoffs to the NHL finals and all the local sports talk was with that conclusion in mind. But, once again, that's why they play the games.
It is no wonder our youth are quitting youth sports at such young ages. Of course, many times the coaches they encounter fail to inspire them and the missing fun is thereason for quitting. That is the reason my third book was written and due out this summer. Creating a Season to Remember is all about helping coaches learn how to inspire kids and their parents. Often though, kids quit early because they tire of the pressure exerted on them from their parents. Parents do not realize they are the problem and not the coaches. I hear statements like these all the time when it comes to their analysis of their child trying to hit a baseball well. "I can't believe he does the same thing wrong each week when it comes to trying to hit a baseball" and "He/she has a great swing, the reason they can't hit is all in their head."
Once I hear those, I begin in a delicate way, of trying to help the parents understand that things are never that easy. Many major league players, who work on their hitting craft day in and day out, cannot change their habits enough to begin hitting well again. With that in mind, why do they expect a nine or ten-year-old to be able to change their habits overnight?
Second, many baseball swings look very good from the naked eye because some players do it under balance and with good bat speed, yet further expert analysis determines the swing is not as fundamentally sound as it appears.
The point to it all is that if parents truly want the best for their kids playing youth sports, back off and let them develop at the rate that gives them a chance to succeed and fall in love with the game. I have seen it time in and time out over my twenty-eight years of coaching the kids that continue to play into high school are often not the best players at the young ages, but the ones with some talent who get positive and understanding support from their parents.
Maybe this will not be my one only sports rants for this year?
Jack Perconte has dedicated his post-major league baseball career to helping youth. He has taught baseball and softball for the past 27 years.His playing, coaching and parenting storiescreate betterexperiences forathletes andparents.Jack has writtenover a thousand articles on coaching baseball and youth sports.Jack is the author of "The Making of a Hitter" now $5 and "Raising an Athlete." His third book "Creating a Season to Remember" is in the works. Jack is a featured writer for Baseball the Magazine. You can also findJack Perconte on YouTube withover 80 fun and innovative baseball instructional videos.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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