Frank Workman on Sports: A letter to Santa

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dear Santa -

Sixty years ago I last wrote you a letter, and you brought me the 'Davy Crockett and The Alamo' toy set that I wanted so much.

No present from you ever topped that one back when I was 6.

Tonight I write you with an entirely different request.

I am a fan of High School sports. I attend upwards of 75 games and meets each school year.

What I want isn't so much for me as they're wishes I have for others.

To start with, I would like it very much if you could bring speedy and complete recoveries to the athletes who have recently suffered season-ending injuries. 

(Do you even stock rebuilt Anterior Cruciate Ligaments at the North Pole?) If I never hear another player crying out, in both pain and heartache in a hushed gymnasium or on a soccer field, that'd be just fine with me.

Maybe there's a book on your shelves you could give to coaches - a book that would give them the patience, tact, understanding and compassion to better deal with the athletes' parents, particularly the ones who think they know more than the coaches do, whether they played the game or just watch it on TV. Their second-guessing of the coaches (especially in front of their kids) undermines the coach's authority and tears at the fabric of the team.

While you're scanning your bookshelves, maybe there's one that would give perspective to those parents who have forgotten that the games their children are playing are just that --- games --- their kid's games, and not theirs, at that.

Long after the final scores have faded from memory, the lessons that were learned and the relationships that were forged along the way are what will shape their character for the rest of their lives.

Too many parents seem to show up angry at games, and they can't wait to yell at somebody (usually the refs) over the slightest provocation. 
It's as if they don't appreciate just how much fun it is watching their kids play - what a gift it is.  Could you please check your medicine cabinet for something along the lines of a chill-pill for them?

And I've got an idea for those team-sports parents who only cheer for their own sons or daughters, not the team.  How about a nice tennis racket or some golf clubs for their kids. Those are individual sports, and the parents would be forgiven for rooting only for their own kids.

Actually, Santa, I think it would be a lot to ask for you to deliver just one of these presents, much less all of them.

Even if you could, it still wouldn't top Davy Crockett.

Thank you for everything.

Frank Workman


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