Star players need to sit during blowouts

jonbuzby@hotmail.comOctober 7, 2012 

I took my son out of a roller hockey game at halftime once because he had already scored four goals and our team was up 8-0. Immediately after the game, I questioned whether or not I waited too long.

The other day, I read on Facebook that a father was complaining about his son being removed after scoring four touchdowns and racking up more than 150 rushing yards -- in the first quarter.

The team was up 28-0 over a clearly inferior opponent. There were no Division I college scouts in the bleachers, in fact, no scouts at all (not that it should matter). Unless the father had a side bet on the game and needed to cover the spread, he really had no reason, or right, to be upset with the coach's decision. He certainly shouldn't have posted his dissatisfaction on a public social network.

One of the outcomes of being involved in amateur sports at any level is learning good sportsmanship, and it starts and ends with the head coach. That's exactly how I explained it to my son during the game when I pulled him out at the half, as his coach. I re-explained it again later that evening as his father.

As his father, would I have loved to see him score more goals? What parent wouldn't? But as his coach, it was my obligation to not allow him to do so, even if it upset him. And then, it was my obligation to explain why.

My son was 5 years old at the time. Teaching that lesson to him early in life worked and never needed to be repeated. He never again questioned me or any other coach when he was removed from a blowout game. In fact, he approached me more than once about coming out before I had a chance to substitute for him.

You'll never hear about those types of stories on Facebook or any other social network. Instead, you only hear from the selfish father trying to relive his glory days through his son. Since the young man was a senior in high school on the varsity team, there's probably a good chance he knew exactly why he was taken out, and was fine with it.

Sometimes parents need to learn from their kids. Hopefully this one will, and maybe he'll share it on Facebook.

Contact Jon Buzby at JonBuzby@hotmail.com and follow him @JonBuzby on Twitter.

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