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Certain things are required of being a teammate

August 16, 2010
By MIKE MATHISON

Being a member of a team means certain things are required.

The most important of which is to be a good teammte.

It doesn't matter if you are the star quarterback, the Division I linebacker or the kid who was the last person to receive his football pads, everyone has a role.

The role for everyone is the team is bigger than the player.

Case in point is the Stanford women's basketball team, which lost to Connecticut in the NCAA championship game.

Guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude was not always on the same page as coach Tara VanDerveer during her five years on the team (she had a medical redshirt due to a knee injury). In fact, the pair butted heads quite often.

That is, until the player's fifth year with the Cardinal, when she was named co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac 10 Conference.

"Ros really had to go from that caterpillar to the butterfly," VanDerveer said before the national championship contest. "During that caterpillar stage, she did give me a lot of gray hair and we did butt heads. Sometimes, just as with adolescent children, they want to do it their way.

"That wasn't the way it was going to work for our team. And this year, I think a light went on with Ros, and with our whole team. Everyone said, 'Let's try it Tara's way.'

"Ros has had a fabulous year in that she comes to practice and she really works hard every day."

Stanford finished 36-2.

Please remember:

Kids play.

Parents parent.

Coaches coach.

Teachers teach.

An athlete is not good without teammates.

A team can only be good when members of the team realize the team does not revolve around them.

Being a part of a team means you do what is in the best interest of the team and not yourself.

That is a tough concept for some people to handle.

Especially adults.

High school football begins in 10 days and every season begins with a list of expectations from everyone - players, coaches, fans and parents.

Soccer and volleyball are right around the corner and those same expectations are there.

The problem with expectations is that they are rarely met.

Too many people have expectations that are beyond capabilities.

"Why isn't my daughter the starting middle blocker?"

"My son/daughter is a better goalie than who you have in there."

"Why isn't my son in the top six for this golf tournament?"

"My kid is transferring to your school because he/she is a really good athlete."

"Why isn't my son getting more carries?"

Since fall sports are basically here, parents, please back your team and cheer. Support your kid(s) and the team.

Be positive.

How about this as an expectation: kids play hard, be good teammates and represent their parents, school and community to the best of their abilities each time they step foot into an athletic contest.

If you have a legitimate complaint (and playing time is not one of them), please talk to your child about that complaint to see if your child, you know, the one actually playing, cares about the same thing that you do.

And, if not, quiet.

If so, make sure your child has addressed it first with the coach.

And, if not, quiet.

Expectations of parents do not meet the abilities of the children and numbers bear that statement.

The NCAA has done studies relating to student-athletes and professional sports.

Less than one in 35, or approximately 3.1 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic basketball will go on to play men's basketball at a NCAA member institution.

About one in 75, or approximately 1.2 percent of NCAA male senior basketball players will get drafted by an NBA team.

Three in 10,000, or approximately 0.03 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic basketball will eventually be drafted by an NBA team.

Approximately three in 100, or 3.5 percent of high school senior girls interscholastic basketball players will go on to play women's basketball at a NCAA member institution.

Less than one in 100, or approximately 0.9 percent of NCAA female senior basketball players will get drafted by a WNBA team.

One in 5,000, or approximately 0.03 percent of high school senior girls playing interscholastic basketball will eventually be drafted by a WNBA team.

Approximately 5.8 percent, or less than one in 17 of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution.

Approximately one in 50, or 1.7 percent of NCAA senior football players will get drafted by an NFL team.

Eight in 10,000, or approximately 0.08 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will eventually be drafted by an NFL team.

Approximately three in 50, or about 6.3 percent of high school senior boys interscholastic baseball players will go on to play men's baseball at a NCAA member institution.

Approximately nine in 100, or about 9.1 percent of NCAA senior male baseball players will get drafted by a MLB team.

Approximately one in 200, or 0.44 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic baseball will eventually be drafted by an MLB team.

Approximately 11 in 100, or about 11.0 percent of high school senior boys interscholastic ice hockey players will go on to play men's ice hockey at a NCAA member institution.

One in 27, or about 3.6 percent of NCAA senior male ice hockey players will get drafted by a NHL team.

Less than one in 300, or approximately 0.31 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic ice hockey will eventually be drafted by an NHL team.

Less than three in 50, or about 5.6 percent of high school senior boys interscholastic soccer players will go on to play men's soccer at an NCAA member institution.

Less than one in 50, or about 1.6 percent of NCAA senior male soccer players will be drafted by an MLS team.

Approximately one in 1,250, or about 0.07 percent of high school senior boys playing interscholastic soccer will eventually be drafted by an MLS team.

Your child has more than a 99 percent chance of making a living at something other than being a professional athlete.

Does this mean they quit?

No.

It means the eye should be on the prize of being the best teammate they can be.

It means working hard, pushing their bodies beyond what they thought possible is a really good thing.

It means everything that is learned playing high school sports, or being a member of a band, is a great learning experience for college and life.

It means that going through a little adversity on the way to being a good teammate only makes you better prepared for going through adversity in life.

Let's treat it that way.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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