Parents Please read

9 FEB | BY JON ALLEN

Dear Parents,
I am writing to ask for your help with an increasing issue that has presented itself recently.
Athletics is a great opportunity to teach our kids competitiveness, work ethic, humility, and sportsmanship among many other qualities. I use the words “teach our kids” because the responsibility is a shared one between school, coaches and parents. Education based athletic programs are invaluable to the development and maturation process of a young student-athlete.
In the past few weeks, there has been an escalating number of sportsmanship ejections and warnings at our basketball games. In fact, each time there is an event, there is a UIL report generated requiring several hours of paperwork and investigation required to clear it. In my twenty-three years of coaching, twelve as an athletic director, I have had to investigate six incidents. Three of which have occurred this basketball season and two in the last week.
I am asking for your help in fixing this issue. I understand that there are going to be questionable calls. If your son or daughter is playing in a 3A sub-varsity game, there will be times that we will have officials that are learning their trade just like your son or daughter is learning the game. The best help we can give is to focus on encouraging our kids and our team. In the end, the only thing we can control is our own attitude and effort.
I once saw a young boy sitting on the side of the court “somewhat” watching his older brother play. An errant ball hit the young man in the face. The ball shocked the kid. The kid sat stunned for about 10 seconds without crying, until the people around him kept asking if he was hurt. On cue, the kid began crying and eventually left the gym to get calm down.
My point is as parents/coaches, we all know and understand that kids will live up to our expectations. We all want our kids to be compassionate and competitive. Further, we can all agree that things will not always be fair. In fact, how our son or daughter learns to react to adversity will have the largest effect on the quality of their lives. Mentoring, modeling, and encouraging our kids to be mentally and emotionally tough is a pillar goal of our athletic program.
We need your help. The next time our team and our kids face adversity, before we REACT, think about how we would want our kids to ACT, not only today as players, but later as mothers, fathers, and fans in the stands.
Tonight our men’s basketball team looks to join our women’s team as district champions. Cheer them on. Be proud of Marion. Be proud of 36 or 38 of playoff teams and the 20 district championships in the last six years. Be proud, but more importantly BE PART OF the CHARACTER, CLASS, AND TOTAL EFFORT that is MARION.

Best of luck tonight to our teams.

Coach Salmon

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