Sports: The All-American Addiction

By John R. Gerdy | Go to book overview
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2
BUYING IN

I do not believe today everything that I believed yesterday; I wonder will I believe tomorrow everything I believe today.

—Isaac Goldberg

It is hard to imagine how a coach, chasing his son around the batting cage with a bat, screaming about not being disciplined at the plate, could possibly be a good thing. But there we were, watching silently, none of us all that surprised or terribly upset at what we were seeing. We had witnessed enough incidents where coaches screamed and yelled at their players. Although the bat was a bit of a new twist for us, it was, in our minds, certainly within the standard deviation of coaches' behavior. We were playing competitive sports, and in competitive sports, coaches yelled, screamed, and threatened. We were ten.

Athletics participation, it is said, teaches important lessons in discipline, perseverance, and hard work. Through involvement in athletics, participants learn such values as sportsmanship, integrity, and ethics. Being a member of a team teaches concepts in cooperation and enhances one's self-image. Community leaders have long asserted that organized athletics instill in participants important “American values, such as honesty, teamwork, and loyalty, all citizenry characteristics that are essential to maintaining a civilized

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