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Notes and thoughts while sports take a break

Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Jody Hargis
Life as we have known it has come to a screeching halt. The sports world is not exempt from the clutches of this global pandemic called COVID – 19 or the Coronavirus. All sports from the professional ranks to the local little league programs have been put on hold for the time being as medical professionals spend hours upon hours finding a way to combat this situation. Nevertheless, there are some local news on the sports front. In addition, I would like to give a few personal views of what this time out could produce.
The TSSAA Board of Control and Legislative Council met last Tuesday and Wednesday via a conference call to hold their quarterly meetings. The Board of Control has postponed the girls’ semi – finals and championship games, along with the entire boys’ tournament in basketball, indefinitely. They hope to play these events at least by May. They also want to be able to play the Spring Fling even if it is played in June.
TSSAA doesn’t decide whether regular season spring sports are played. That is a local education agency’s decision. However, it’s obvious at this time that no LEA is considering games or practice until further notice.
On a local note, the TSSAA approved the co-operative program of St. Andrews –
Sewanee and Grundy County High School participating in football for the 2020 season. This will allow student athletes from SAS to compete on the GCHS Yellow Jacket football team this fall.
I thought time was flying by because I was getting older. I realized time has slowed down because things that we are accustomed to doing came to a standstill. It has been a slow transition into spring and although we had a mild winter, it’s still hard to believe spring is here.
I feel if there is a “silver lining” in this otherwise very serious situation is the fact that our youth can have a chance to enjoy the little things in life. I know that all our youngsters are not athletically inclined or even enjoy sports and there is nothing wrong with that. What about those that do love sports?
Parents of springtime little leaguers, please take this time to let your children enjoy being a kid. Pay close attention to their actions. If your child is trying to play ball in the house or constantly wanting to go outside and shoot basketball, hit a wiffle ball, or throw a ball against the house or up in the air, well, rest assured you have a future athlete with the passion for sports.
If your children don’t want to participate in anything like this, maybe little league sports is not for them.
I know the majority of kids that play at an early age love to be active, but do they really want to play sports? Parents, don’t force your kids to play, just to be with other kids. This is a great chance to find out if they really want to participate.
I have always believed that youngsters should have the opportunity to play in their house or their yard and use their imagination. They don’t necessarily need to be coached as a pre – teen. Let them develop their own instincts by using their imagination to make up different
games with the sports they love. You may find out that they will gain a better understanding through trial and error than they can from instruction during this time.
Once they reach the age when competition gets more intense, these instincts they have developed will make them more coachable and they will understand the instruction better.
Once again, this is just my opinion. I know that even though I wasn’t an outstanding athlete by no means, I do feel that during my childhood, the opportunity to play in my house and my back yard gave me the instincts I needed to follow the instruction from my coaches in the sports I played. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world!
So parents, use this time to slow down and reflect on whether your children are just doing what you want them to do or are they really passionate about sports. I promise you will know the difference.