Team Players

By Brian Gotta, President of CoachDeck LLC

While no one is sadder than I am about the cancellation of our sports, it occurs to me that by staying home and observing recommended health practices we are all participating in the largest team sport in history.

I don’t know how much longer we will have to do this, but I do know we all hate this thing. We hate the loss of life, the loss of jobs, the loss of income. We hate being forced to do something we don’t want to do. For some of us, it means being away from those we love or even losing someone.

We hate the fear of the unknown. We hate what it’s doing to the economy. Who knows what will be left when this pandemic finally ends. We know if will be different. We know we’ll be different.

We loathe what it’s doing to our sports. Not just the ones we watch on TV and in stadiums but those that our kids play. When will it be OK for them to get back on the field? No one knows for sure.

But we can’t let our guards down. During the influenza outbreak of 1918, the second wave of illness was much worse than the first. In our rush to get things back to normal we must make sure we don’t make things much worse.

Imagine these two scenarios: We come back too soon from lockdown and, then, the virus makes an even stronger comeback and we’re shut down again, this time for six months. We are worried about the economy now? What would that do to the world?

Scenario two is we are a little more patient now but that means we can get back to some semblance of normalcy by the summer or fall. If those are the two choices, which do you prefer?

I’m not an epidemiologist and I’m not saying I know what is right. I want our kids to be able to play soccer, baseball, softball, football – every sport this fall. But I know there are many out there who don’t believe they need to observe guidelines such as face masks, social distancing, staying home, now. There are people, young and old, who feel like their rights and desires are more important than those of society. That’s not being a team player. And it could backfire to the tune of no more sports this year.

The first thing the military does to a new recruit is try to eliminate their individuality. Why? Individuals are dangerous to the platoon. Individuals can get the platoon killed. It is a known fact that when soldiers put the welfare of their comrades before their own, everyone has a better chance of survival and success.

This is our time, as a people, to shine, not shrink from our duty, from our team responsibilities. The actions we are taking now are having success in defeating this insidious enemy. Let’s all pull together as one so we can emerge victorious as soon as possible.

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 He can be reached at

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