A potpourri of youth sports tidbits as we spring into March:
I ventured to my son's first high school sports banquet last weekend on a Sunday afternoon when the weather had just started feeling like spring. There were many things I could and should have been doing, and some, truth-be-told, I'd rather be doing. Instead, I donned a tie, gathered up my side dish to share and drove to the school.
On the way there, I got to thinking about all of the other dads in the world who wished they had a sports banquet to go to. Their kids either cut from the team or not even having bothered to try out, they were instead home tuning up the mower or putting the screens back in.
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The food was so-so, the program too long and my son didn't get any team awards or special recognition from the coach other than the obligatory handshake and "great season."
But in my eyes, he was the player of the year. And there wasn't any place I would have rather been that Sunday afternoon.
Tennis balls are an amazing thing. You don't even need a racket. When you have a tennis ball, you have something to do.
You can bounce or toss it to yourself. You can throw it against a wall or with a friend. You can even kick it like a soccer ball. Playing with a tennis ball improves your hand-eye coordination, something vital in every sport you'll ever play.
So the next time you head out the door, take the tennis ball with you. No matter where you're going, you'll be glad to have it.
There is nothing more frustrating for parents than having to sit in a parking lot well past the time practice was scheduled to end. I'm not suggesting practice has to end at the precise moment the schedule says, but it should be within 15 minutes or so.
And this goes for every level of youth sports, from T-ball to varsity. Coaches don't like when parents drop kids off late to practice, parents don't like when coaches let them leave late. We all have schedules to keep. Call it common courtesy.
Is your son or daughter finished playing sports either because of interest, skill level or age, but you still enjoy seeing the occasional game? My guess is you have a neighbor or relative who would love to see you sitting in the bleachers and cheering for them.
Last week my neighbors, who don't have children, came to see my 6-year-old son play basketball. Based on his reaction, you might have thought LeBron James himself stopped by the gym.
Whether it's a T-ball game or the local high school, you don't have to have a child playing to be a supportive fan.
Contact Jon Buzby at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him @youthsportsbuzz on Twitter.