John Russell's sports column appears Sundays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com.
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Steamboat Springs It’s one of the hardest positions to play on any field, and arguably, it’s one of the most important.
Nobody who plays the position ever will score the game-winning basket, they never will score the go-ahead goal or hit the walk-off homer to save the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Nobody who plays the position will be asked to stop the other team’s top scorer or beat a speedster to the finish line for a state-qualifying time.
But to play this position, you will need to show up for every game, you will need to purchase most of, if not all, the equipment and you have to be upbeat — even when the other team wins the big game.
Being a parent is one of the hardest positions I’ve ever played, and I have to admit that I’m still struggling with some of the intricacies of playing the game.
I’m happy to say that I haven’t done anything to embarrass my daughter, and I’m hoping to keep it that way in the future.
Later this month, she will head to Grand Junction to play in her first soccer tournament of the season.
I’m happy to say I know all the rules.
I will cheer for both teams, I will remain positive and I always will remember that the most important things have nothing to do with which team wins the game.
Most parents understand the most important thing is to make sure the children can enjoy playing the game they love and that the parents don’t do anything that would affect that experience.
This is your child’s time to play the game, and as a parent, it’s time to stay on the bench and show support.
Sounds simple, but take it from me, it’s not.
The thing is that I’ve never been the type of guy who likes to sit on the bench. I hated it a few years ago when I still was playing softball.
But even though I never liked sitting on the bench when I was a player, I’ve come to understand the importance of the position as a parent.
I’ve learned that while being on the bench may not be that exciting, it is a key part of raising your child.
I realize that as a parent I never will be called into the game to fill in for an injured player or help spark the team to victory.
But the support offered by parents to their children will make a difference long after the game has been decided.
This is the place where parents can let their children understand that we will always be there — win or lose.
This is the place where parents can show their children how to act when the game is close and the pressure is high.
This in the place where children learn what is expected from a game and what it means to be competitive in life.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com