Values convoluted for young athletes

Published: Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 - 11:03 am

Re "It's time to bring public school sports off the bench" (Viewpoints, March 23): If we truly pay attention to our youth today, we see uniquely progressive yet unstructured value systems.

As a therapeutic relationship coach, I can't say enough about the positive psychological and social benefits of sports and exercise. Joshua Pechthalt's comments about sports benefiting youth are spot-on. Most team players learn that "I" is destructive in sports and life. Also, young women and men gain respect for their bodies, combating our media's destructive imagery.

Meanwhile, as my son and I witnessed rampant politics and cheating over his years in sports, it became apparent that humans can devalue even such a values-based activity. What exactly are we providing our young athletes?

Parents, it begins at home. Coaches, you're impacting lives. Respect the opportunity to emphasize the wonderful, unmatched qualities of sports and athletics. Teach kids to emulate Tim Duncan, and they'll win.

-- Mitch Darnell, Sacramento

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