Monday, November 14, 2011

Sporst Banquets

Sports banquets cause a variety of responses and the response you receive many times depends on the position of the person. They are a time to reflect and celebrate the accomplishment of a team. For example, players typically like banquets because they are recognized for their accomplishments and (for the guys especially) there is good food. Some players had rather be getting a tooth filled than sitting and listening to coaches talk, so it is impossible to say all players like banquets, or all players dislike banquets.

The same can be said for parents. Every parent likes to hear positive comments about their child, but the entire banquet experience can be a little less than enjoyable to some parents. Parents love that someone else recognizes how truly special their child is, but if someone fails to recognize their uniqueness some parents do not take this very well. Perhaps the parents with the most mixed feelings are the parents of seniors. It is great to see your child honored as a senior and have the satisfaction they have reached a great milestone in their life. The joy often dissipates due to the realization they will soon be leaving high school and possibly your house.

Coaches, as a whole, are not big fans of banquets. Coaches spend 364 days of the year preaching team and one day having to say the dreaded words, “And the MVP for this year is….” Banquets basically go against what most coaches believe in but in order to honor the team and the players banquets continue. Don’t get me wrong, coaches love recognizing the accomplishments of their team and players, but the balance between honoring one player and offending another is very delicate. In front of every great running back is an offensive line that typically doesn’t receive the accolades the running back receives. A similar scenario exists for every team sport.

Sports banquets are a rite of passage, a part of growing up, and part of the high school sports experience. They hold many fond memories for some and unfortunately some very unpleasant memories for others. Like most everything else, banquets must be seen through the prism of the “big picture.” One should not get too overconfident from winning an award, and conversely not think less of one’s self for not winning an award. The true reward for playing high school sports is the lessons learned, not the awards received.

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