DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #69

Dear Granddaddy, I don’t’ like it that my son’s basketball coach made my son run a lap for not paying attention in practice. Mary G-upset mom.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Mary, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know all the circumstances. But one thing that I do know is that in many cases the discipline, including being forced to pay attention, which playing sports teach is usually a good thing a young student-athlete. Now hold on a minute while I explain what I mean.

Many kids love playing sports. I know I sure did when I was still a kid. As a matter of fact, I think I now miss playing sports. It was so much fun, regardless of how much we had to run. Also, I loved coaching sports for all those years that I did, too!

Sports are a great vehicle to teach leadership skills and self-discipline. And believe it or not, many kids, whether they know it or not, play sports because they’re difficult and it challenges them to step up their game. And who doesn’t’ love it when they’re stepping up their game? We all love it, right, Mary?

I played and coached for many years, so I understand this dynamic that exists between kids and sports. However, like you, I am now on the other side of the fence-sitting in the stands as a parent. And now this old player and coach recognize that it’s a different ball game now that I’m a parent instead of a player or coach. And like you Mary, I want to protect my children. But, as a former player and coach, I know I need to stay out of it and let my kids take a few lumps, and maybe even run a few extra laps so they can learn how to be more self-disciplined, independent, tough, and step up their game.

Mary, your son is going to be fine. Running occasional laps will help him pay attention and help him get in better shape so he can play better and protect himself from injuries. Okay? So now, let’s go play some ball!

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Dan Blanchard is a bestselling and an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared in several of the world’s Top Ten Podcasts, and over 100 television and radio shows. He now also has a weekly TV show of his own. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: