I began writing this post on the most overhyped and, in some ways, the saddest day in our sports calendar – the college football “signing day”, where kids become national heroes based on nothing more than their potential.
So as an antidote for yesterday’s craziness, here’s a snapshot of high school athletics which, no doubt, reflects the experiences of most student-athletes and their parents.
My wife and I have watched lots of high school basketball over the years, but this season has been one of the most enjoyable. The reason is, for the first time, we have two of our sons playing together on the same team.
Our sons, Mitch and Jonathan, play for the Northern Michigan Christian School’s junior varsity team. Mitch plays up front and Jonathan plays guard so they’re often on the court at the same time.
Seeing them interact in such a competitive, high pressure and public situation as a high school basketball game, tells us a lot about their relationship as brothers. And here’s what we seen – they’re completely honest in their communication with each other. We’ve watched them have intense discussions after a bad play in a way only brothers can and we’ve also seen them affirm each other after a good play with what can only be described as brotherly love (not a bad model for our working relationships).
We’ve also have daily talks around the kitchen table about their team, the practices and the games. There have been challenges, heartbreak and victories, all of which they’re sharing together and we’re sharing with them as parents (what will I do in a few years when this is all over?).
So if you’ve been doubting the sanity of high school sports, remember ESPN has nothing on local, home town high school sports and the lifelong learning experiences they give young people like our sons Mitch and Jonathan.