Slow time is good time to reflect on past mistakes

August 21, 2011 

This week is sort of a "blah" week in the youth sports world. Camps are mostly over, fall practices have yet to begin, and we have to face the fact that summer is rapidly coming to an end.

As I was biking one morning, I started thinking about my top five mistakes as a youth sports parent and coach.

It didn't take me long to come up with about 20 (it was a short ride). From that list I managed to narrow it down to five. And then I decided to try to determine my absolute worst moment.

That one was actually an easy decision. It was an incident where I approached a coach during a game about running up the score on the other team. It was my son's coach running up the score. It wasn't the first time, and I had seen enough. My son was horrified (at me) and rightfully so.

The coach's decisions all season were so poor that the league did not invite him back to coach, which in my mind somewhat proved my point. But I still have to rank that in-game confrontation as my worst youth sports moment -- if for no other reason than my son's reaction.

This mental exercise I put myself through is probably one we should all complete, and this uneventful week is the perfect time to do it.

Think back to every team you either coached or cheered for and try to think of a few things you said or did that you wish you could take back.

The items on your "regret list" may have involved your own child, others on your own team (players or parents), officials or even members of the opposing team. But my guess is you can come up with at least three.

The goal of this exercise -- and this column -- is to recall those incidents and try to make sure they don't happen again.

We've all had our not-so-memorable moments we'd like to forget. It's just part of the youth sports game. The most important thing, like we tell our kids, is that we adults learn from our mistakes.

I know I did.

Jon Buzby's columns appear in newspapers and magazines around the country as well as numerous websites. Email your comments to

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