Pitchin' with Pritch: Participate in school activities

There has been a lot of discussion about why the participation numbers have dropped so drastically in the last few years and you have a lot of people with different ideas. We have certainly seen the numbers drop locally and it does cause you to scratch your head a little and wonder what might be the cause. 

This district isn’t the only one where this problem exists. There are a lot of school districts in rural Nebraska where enrollment numbers have dropped and that certainly will cause problems in fielding teams. 

Even though enrollment numbers have dropped, I am not convinced that is the entire reason there are problems. I don’t know how much encouragement parents give their children in regards to participation in extra-curricular events, but I do know I would rather have my children involved with those activities rather than just having time on their hands with nothing really to do. 

I know some kids work, and I think that is fine, but I also know I still would rather have my kids in a school activity than anywhere else. I have had parents tell me their kids spend too much time at school and in activities and I think of all the other places they might be spending time and I will take school activities every time. I am glad my sons participated in sports, musicals, speech and all the stuff they did when they were in school. It gave them a base to work from that I know both of them use in their professions today. 

I am glad they participated in activities because they learned that even when they were extremely tired and wanted to quit they didn’t. 

From all the things they participated in, they were taught to be disciplined, focused and dedicated. They learned to work with others and to be good teammates, gracious in defeat and humble in success. 

They learned how to deal with disappointment when things didn’t go just as they hoped and they kept practicing and trying to get better so they didn’t have to feel that disappointment nearly as often. 

In their activities they learned to make and accomplish goals. That is kind of important when you get out into the real world and they can do that. 

Some things that also happen when you participate in activities is that you actually meet other kids and have the opportunity to make life-long friendships and create lifelong memories.

There are lots of other things that are very positive that come in activities and will help the participants throughout their lives and give them the opportunity to bless the lives of others.

I spent almost 40 years dealing with students in sports activities. Do I think every one of them liked me? Absolutely not. But sometimes you don’t really realize until years after what activities did for some of your players. 

I had a coach I coached with for a number of years tell me a couple of years ago that he didn’t think he or I could coach anymore because we actually raised our voice at our players now and then. 

That might be true, but I have a number of file folders with letters from former players who told me what playing basketball for us had done for them. 

Sometimes I don’t remember all the situations as they describe them but that doesn’t really matter. 

Students, parents, please think about the good things that can come from being in activities. 

Give it a shot, I would bet you will have more good things happen than bad and the more activities in which you participate the better those odds become.

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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