This is one of the classic parenting statements that everyone has once heard. I am not sure when my dad said it first, but I am sure I heard it a thousand times as a kid. The sad part is we learn from mimicking or copying someone, and I guess that statement has really lost its meaning.
It is almost a week since the Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup, and as always you start hearing about the injuries that players were playing with. The biggest was Mathew Tkachuk who could not even dress himself and played game 4 (he could not play game 5.). Even the teams that were eliminated earlier, Dougie Hamilton from my beloved New Jersey Devils, Linus Ulmark (from the top seeded Bruins and I am sure there were a lot more. Showing my age, the first story I heard about this was Jack Youngblood who played a Super Bowl in 1979 with a broken leg! But I start to look at these and wonder, this is what they do and not what people say.
What happens to our youth in sports, to coaches say ‘it’s not a bad injury so-and-so played with worse.’ or do kids not report injuries trying to mimic their favorite athletes? If you look at the top reasons why kids quit youth sports, number two is “Pressure to perform…and injuries that can result from overtraining due to that pressure to perform.” Second only to it is no longer fun. It does appear that we are ‘’doing what they do, and not what they say.”
This may appear to be outside of my normal writing, but take quick second and think is it really? My overriding theme of this blog is getting better every day, and the stories are lessons I learn along my journey on life. One statement I will stand by is some lessons need to be learned by self-failure, that it not possible to learn by being taught. Unfortunately, maybe this lesson is one that should not get to that point.
When my daughter was younger, she once got a concussion playing hockey. Although it was cleared by her doctor to play, I kept her out some extra time. Concussions and youth sports can be a complete discussion in itself, but I have done that with other injuries. I kept her out to ensure her long term health was insured. No injury is worth long term problems.
In professional sports though, there is this warrior mentality and as that article mentions, as long as the winning continues that people are ok with it. I wonder if anyone looks later at the wins and recognizes them as Pyrrhic Victories. I apologize for challenging my reader to remember High School history, but the comparison is valid. Are athletes at any age driving to victory so much but it’s not the team that suffers in the end, but the athlete. The pro athletes who play thru devastating injuries are not thinking of the lesson, this is their livelihood.
This is one challenge that I wonder if there is a solution for, I am not for regulating pro sports about athletes playing hurt. From experience I do know youth sports try to limit their liability but saying “you are not allowed to play hurt” but being involved in it, I have seen reality. I guess the only way to do this is for one to put themselves not in a position to teach your child (or coworker or friend etc.) never to say do what I say, not what I do. This means following your values in situations where you may sacrifice something.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them, but zero content was written, corrected or modified by AI tools.