By Tony Paige
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I’m a broadcaster, a writer and more importantly a husband, father and coach.
Yes, I coach sports. I started coaching in the Concourse Little League in the Bronx which played across the street from the old Yankee Stadium.
When I aged out of playing, I came back the next year at 16 to help coach. Been hooked ever since.
Since then I have coached, in addition to baseball on the Little League and All Star levels, flag football, basketball, track and soccer.
I totally enjoy coaching kids from T-ball to District play in baseball. I’ve coached kids, including three of my four children, from age five to 18.
Some kids are excellent athletes while others are excellent young people and teammates. Sure, there have been a few pains in the butt, but that is the price you pay when you coach.
Now, why am I sharing all of this with you?
After following the allegations at Penn State, Syracuse and closer to home at Poly Prep, as parents you have to get more involved with your children.
I know many of you don’t and can’t coach your children. I know some of you like to use sports as a pseudo babysitting service, but with all the questions surrounding coaches today, you as a parent have to be more vigilant when others are coaching your kids.
As a youth coach, I am checked out every season in every sport by my township to make sure I’m not on some pedophile list or an ex-con.
I have no problem with the process and welcome it.
If you let your child play sports, be it on the recreational level or the more hard-core travel level, take the time to ask questions about the coaches.
You don’t have to be of the same religion or politic part, you just have make sure you’re both on the common sense level.
I’ve had coaches say they will pitch a kid until his arm falls off. That is troubling and should be addressed, but that concern is on the field.
It’s the off the field issues that you have to be concerned with.
You have to be concerned with sleepovers in these troubling times.
It could be absolutely nothing, but look in to it.
Talk to your kids. Look to see if there is any change in his or her attitude after they start playing for a new or old coach.
Most importantly, make the time to go watch your kids play.
Even if they are bench warmers, they will appreciate you coming to their games and the memories will stay with you forever.
Do you plan to be more vigilant in the wake of the Penn State and Syracuse allegations? Be heard in the comments below…