By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck LLC
Red. Blue. Conservative. Liberal. Democrat. Republican. No matter where you look or listen these days, someone is fighting with someone else, blaming, accusing, pointing fingers. We feel like we’re forced to choose a side and then defend it at all costs. There is one place I wish we would all go to come together.
Our kids’ sports. We are facing an emergency here and we need to pitch in together to work through this:
When is it safe to come back?
Again, just like with seemingly everything there are different camps. Some say it is safe to play now. Others say no way. Some states are more ready to resume than others. Obviously, I want sports to come back yesterday. But I also want everyone to be safe. Back in April I wrote about the importance of being patient when trying to get back to normal lest we end up going longer without sports as a result. Not much as changed.
So let’s work together when we talk about resuming and not let politics taint our decisions.
Budget issues will need to be addressed
Youth league budgets will certainly be affected by the shutdown. That means volunteers will have to get creative when it comes to the financial aspects of running the league. There will be a greater need for more fundraising and maybe it means running leagues differently, with fewer frills. It’s going to be all hands on deck for the next 12 months and we need to play as a team.
Kids who haven’t played in a long time may have lost interest
This is one we can work on now. I drive by our local elementary school and every day see more kids out with their parents taking batting practice or kicking the soccer ball. I see socially-distanced practices on the field. This makes me hopeful. If we can keep our children engaged even if there are no teams to play on, when sports do come back won’t it be great if they feel like they’ve never been more ready?
Organizations need coaches and other volunteers.
Finally, if you haven’t gotten the message so far, here it is. Help. Volunteer to get things back on track in your community. There will be a job available for anyone willing to work and the only way things will get back to normal is if we all pitch in.
I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you’re on if you’ll help me line the field. I don’t care who you’re voting for if you’ll raise funds for the league. Let’s stand shoulder to shoulder and agree to work on this issue together for the sake of our kids.
Brian Gotta is a former professional youth baseball coach and current volunteer Little League coach and board member. He is the President of CoachDeck and also author of four youth sports novels which can be found at www.booksbygotta.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.