-34°F Windchill, Don't Care

Our daughter is in a new activity this winter. The parent meeting was before Christmas, and it was refreshing. The coach talked about the many opportunities the kids would have for practice and competition, but then got into making sure everyone understood just how important the competitions are in the grand scheme.

You are more important than any competition.

If your anxiety has peaked and you don’t think it’s going to work for you that day, your mental health is more important than any competition.

If your uncle is terminally sick and you want to spend the weekend with him, your family is more important than any competition.

If you or your parents are concerned about weather for an away competition, your safety is more important than any competition.

While our daughter is injured, today a coach of a different activity strongly advised that she should come to an away competition in order to support her team. Despite the deadly -34°F windchill, the necessary 5:30 a.m. departure time, and the fact that transportation is parent-provided. Injuries have happened in the past, and our daughter has always supported the team at the cost of her and a parent’s time and expense. Strong advisement on this day felt very inappropriate.

I’m painting with a broad brush here, but I’ll let you take a guess which coach was leading a competitive athletic activity and which was leading a competitive arts activity. Do all coaches follow these stereotypes? Certainly no. But I can tell which way I’m guessing 100% of the time.

It’s too bad, because this and related mentalities result in a lot of kids not being part of the athletic side of things. Good physical health has such a huge impact on each of our long-term mental health and capabilities. It’d be awfully nice to bring in as many kids in to sport and/or training as possible.

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