Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Young Athletes and Poor Choices

Well, I'm bummed. A young athlete I know has been kicked out of one of the USOC Olympic Training Centers--for the second and final time. All of the talent in the world. This kid's physical abilities allowed her to walk into a great situation--room, board, college tuition, health care and training--a situation and opportunity many athletes in Olympic sports never have. This kid has the capability of representing the US in London in the 2012 Olympics, but the chances of that happening are greatly decreased now as she will be forced to fend for herself for training space and coaching.

Maybe I'm cynical, but it seems many of today's young athletes have trouble remaining disciplined and making good choices. Alcohol, sportsmanship, working as a team--heck, just showing up to training on time--many of them just don't seem to get it. The coaches are forced to act as baby sitters for people who cannot seem to keep their pants on or keep themselves sober--even at World Championship events.

More Bode Millers. I'm good and I'll do whatever I damn please and you'll like it.

Where is the honor and pride of being a disciplined athlete--especially when you are on the dime of the USOC? Of being a part of a team--a team that represents your country? Of just being a person of integrity, with humility and appreciation for your talents and a desire to use them in a positive manner. Of respect for those coaches and administrators around who are trying their best to make you into the best you can possibly be?

Makes me sick. Just sick.

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