Adapt and Overcome

91 to 0… Let that soak in a minute… 91 points in a high school football game.  More impressively, 69 points per game, over 573 yards of offense per game and only allowing 7.7 points per game, 187 yards against per game, 11 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles.  As a coach I am in awe of these statistics.  I mean this is the most impressive group of stats I have seen in my life.  One stat sticks out the most, 33 yards of penalties per game.  That is the sign of a disciplined, well-oiled machine going out there Friday night after Friday night and doing their job.
Those are the facts about a team, and coaching staff that beat another high school last week 91 to 0.  I am sure you have heard about this story in one way shape or form.  In this current state of America, we have nothing better to report about, than that of a cry baby parent filing formal bullying charges against a coach for beating her son’s football team 91 to 0.  As long as media is going to make this an issue, let me pile on and add my two cents as a coach.  After all, this makes for a wonderful blog topic, so thank you nameless parent who filed these charges.
First off, in case you didn’t read the last sentence of the previous paragraph, yes that reads, a nameless parent who filed these charges.  A nameless parent who, according to one newspaper, didn’t know what to say to her child when picking him up at the conclusion of the game because he was so dejected.  If the bullying was so bad, and you felt so compelled to file these charges against a head coach, name yourself.  Stop hiding behind the anonymity of the system.  Come out from behind the bubble you are living in and be an adult about it and address the situation head on.  If it meant that much to you to file charges, then step up be an adult and do it with a name and a face.  You really want to do something about bullying, the do something about it, don’t hide and complain behind a screen name.
Secondly, let’s identify what bullying really means.  According to www.dictionary.com, a bully is “ablustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.”  I don’t know this head coach personally, but I am going to assume that this man, who coaches high school football at the top ranked high school football program in the country, is not an individual that makes it a habit to “habitually badger and intimidate smaller or weaker people.”  This is a man who coaches youth athletics, who more than likely teaches at the same school, or at least is a powerful presence at that school.  I am just going to guess that a man in that position does not make it a habit to go “badger” kids.
Texas is the mecca of high school football.  To understand high school football in Texas is to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and urinate high school football.  It is the stage in which any movie that has high school football associated with it, is staged in Texas.  Stadiums seat tens of thousands of fans and are as pristine as many upper echelon college stadiums.    If you are a college recruiter for a major football program, you start your search in stadiums of high schools in Texas.  Google search Texas high school football stadiums, and prepare to be amazed.  Below is a picture of Allen High School Stadium as an example.  My point is this, if you don’t want your son to be exposed to adversity, don’t let him play sports, in fact don’t let him out of the house.  Life is full of peaks and valleys, and if not for the valleys, the peaks wouldn’t be worth the ride.  Buck up and get better.  Let this be a lesson that nothing in life comes easy, and if you don’t want to get beat by 91 points, work harder in the off season, make it a priority to never let that happen to you again.  You don’t file charges of bullying.  You encourage your son that life isn’t always going to be easy, you need to get up the next day, shake it off and go out there and get better so it doesn’t happen again.

 
There are different things you can do in different sports to help the clock roll when you have a comfortable lead.  This coach did all the right things.  He pulled his starters at the beginning of the first half, he ran the ball instead of passing, it was a running clock the entire second half.  As a coach you never, ever tell your boys to stop playing hard.  I don’t care if it is the third string, those boys are out there to compete, and if you are competing, you do it with all the effort you have.  When you get up by that much you start running the ball, letting kids play who otherwise don’t have the opportunity, but you never tell them to stop giving effort and you never tell them to take a knee.
Bullying is a real thing; I see it happen all too often.  To throw this term around because your boy was sad they lost, is disrespect to those kids out there who are really bullied every day.  I will never tell you how to raise your children, but I truly encourage to you to teach your children how to overcome adversity, because in society today, young men and women need to learn that life isn’t always easy, they need to figure out a way to make it through it anyway and make the best of situations.  Sports are intended to be a great way to teach this, but not as long as parents are going to pull this crap.  You got beat by a much better team, tip your cap and make it a priority to get better this off season so it doesn’t happen again.
One of my favorite things to tell my students and athletes when they want to come up to me and complain about something that isn’t fair, I tell them to “adapt and overcome.”  Figure out a way to make it happen, and get to work.  If it doesn’t work, “adapt and overcome.”
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