Saturday, August 17, 2013

Midnight Madness!

Setting up camp

Pre-scrimmage picture 

First time playing under the lights in 2013

Go Maroons!


If you do not own a tent....make one!

The breakfast cooks

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Varsity Tryouts
Dates: August 14-16 (Wednesday-Friday)
Time: 6-8:30pm
Place: HC Turf
Coach: Dave DeBoer
Email Address:

JV Tryouts
Dates: August 14-16 (Wednesday-Friday)
Time: 6-8pm
Place: Start @ HC Turf & finish on HC Middle School grass fields
Coach: Matt Kunnen
Email Address:

Freshmen Tryouts
Dates: August 14-16 (Wednesday-Friday)
Time: 9-11am
Place: HC Turf
Coach: Kevin Witte
Email Address:


Monday, August 5, 2013

Great reminder from GVSU's AD Tim Selgo

Advice to Parents of Athletes

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I have spent my entire lifetime in the world of athletics (including being the parent of three athletes myself) and 32 years of those years have been spent working in intercollegiate athletics.  I've come to some conclusions on some dos and don'ts of being a parent of an athlete and I thought, with another season of athletics at every level approaching us, it was time that I share them in hopes that they might be of help. 
As a baby boomer, I sadly admit that my generation has done a poor job of parenting athletes.  We have been WAY too involved in our children's athletic careers.  Our parents did a much better job.  For one, they did not feel as if their self-worth as a parent was dependent on attending EVERY one of their child's athletic contests, from 5 year old soccer through completion.  They were much more confident and comfortable that participating in athletics should be the choice of their child, not theirs, and did not feel obligated to attend every game, thus allowing their children to take ownership in the experience.  They also did not feel as if their self-worth as a parent was dependent upon their child achieving success in sports.  Certainly, parents of all generations enjoy bragging about their children, yours truly included.  However, when overdone, it does nothing but add pressure to the kid.  And kids today do NOT need more pressure put on them by their parents.  The drastic increase in mental and emotional disorders in high school and college age kids in the last decade are indicators that kids cannot live up their parents' expectations.  There are other reasons to be sure, but my experience with parents of athletes would indicate they are the leading cause of stress their children are feeling.  In a minute, I'll offer some advice on how to do a better job as parents.
Another suggestion I would make to parents is don't be the fan who is always trying to attract attention to himself or herself.  I've seen parents do this in a variety of ways.  The "know-it-all yeller of strategy to show everyone how smart he is" (I use "he" because it is almost always a Dad that does this) or the "screamer at the referees" are the worst.  Then there are some who have to be the "fan of the century" at their child's game.  I recall a parent of an opposing team who always dressed in the team's colors, in and of itself is fine, but had to wear pants with one leg one color and the other leg the other color, as well as wearing outlandish tops and hats.  He (again this was a "he") sent a message of "hey look at me" instead of letting his child and the team be the focus of the event.  It seemed obvious to me, as it does in most cases, the kid didn't like it and some clearly resent this immature behavior of their parents.  One thing is almost certain parents, your kid still loves you and will defend you, but MOST will not like it when you exhibit immature behavior and they will ALMOST NEVER say anything to you, because you are their parent.  My suggestion is to cheer as loud and as often as you can for your child and his/her team, and nix the other theatrics.  Nobody comes to the games to watch you.
Parents blame the coach way too often when things don't go right for their child.  Coaches will not be perfect, they never have been nor will they ever be.  In rare cases, coaches overstep their boundaries and are abusive.  I'm not talking about those cases.  I'm talking about the FACT that in every athletic contest there will be a winner and a loser.  Yes, some coaches have more competitive success than others, AS IN EVERY WALK OF LIFE.  But my experience is that 95% of the time that a parent complains about a coach, it always comes down to playing time.  If you sort through the complaints, it eventually will come out that if Johnny or Suzie were playing more, then they would feel the coach was doing a better job.  If, as a parent, you are always criticizing the coach, the message your child is receiving is that it is someone else's fault, and never my fault.  That is rarely accurate.  Another one I hear often is that the coach "plays favorites".  The answer to that is yep, every coach in every sport plays favorites - they always have and they always will!  99% of the time, they favor athletes who are more talented, have a better attitude, don't whine, and care about the team more than their individual success.  No question about it, coaches favor those kinds of kids so if your kid isn't one of the coach's "favorites", it's probably because he or she doesn't fit any of those categories.  Another one I hear is that "the coach doesn't give him/her confidence".  That's not the way confidence works.  Certainly coaches should try to motivate, encourage, etc. but confidence comes from success which comes from hard work and repetition.  In athletics, it might take YEARS until a kid achieves success (i.e. at the college level, it might not be until their junior or senior year that they achieve success and the primary reason is that IT IS HARD TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN ATHLETICS!).  I have always felt it is NOT the job of the coach to give out confidence like it is a store bought item, but rather it is the job of the athlete to win over the coach's confidence.  So if you want your child to play more, encourage him/her to work hard at what the coach wants him/her to do to gain the coach's confidence to put him/her into the game.  THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES!  Some other players may be better and that is a part of life in the real world, but eventually coaches will like hard working athletes with good attitudes and they will get their opportunity.
A friend of mine once commented, "I had three boys play high school sports, it took me until the third one to figure out that it doesn't really matter how well they do".  You see, his two older boys had gone to college, then to graduate school, and entered the work force as professionals and that is by far more important than how many letters they won in sports.  What is important though, are the many wonderful lessons that they can learn through their athletics experience.  One of the best ones they can learn is how to overcome adversity.  Every parent should be able to understand that they face stresses and pressures daily as adults in the real world, and there are hurdles to overcome ALL THE TIME.  That may be the best lesson your child can learn through sports.  Parents, IT'S OK IF YOUR CHILD FAILS, but more importantly, you need to be the ones to help teach them that it's ok and to learn to handle adversity in a positive manner.  Yes, the coach also should be doing this, but if the coach is trying to do this and you're in their other ear telling them it's always the coach's fault, your child is getting mixed messages.  It is the rare kid that will admit their parent is wrong and learn to tune their parent out, even if they know it is what they should do.  Again, you are their parent and they love you so it puts them in a bad spot.
I'll end with the best advice I ever received as an athlete and as a parent of athletes.  It came in the same moment and it came from my parents.  I was a freshman at the University of Toledo on a full scholarship to play college basketball.  It was a Saturday night in my parents living room (yes, I was a college student that went home for the weekend and spent a Saturday night talking with my parents) in early November of 1976.  I was struggling.  I was away from home for the first time and I was homesick.  The school work was harder than high school.  Basketball practices were much harder and longer than high school.  The competition was tougher.  I was all-state in high school and led my team to the state championship game, but now EVERY guy I was practicing against EVERY day was All State!  I felt pressure because I was one of the few from my hometown that played Division I basketball.  As the small town guy, I felt pressure to "make it".  I was the youngest of three sons, all of who played Division I athletics.  My father himself was a great athlete and was a member of his college's hall of fame, as well as three other halls of fame.  My mother was a great bowler, in two bowling halls of fame.  And so I felt great pressure to succeed and when I sat down with my parents that night, I admit I cried and said to them that I wasn't sure I could do this.  I didn't think I was going to be able to go through four years of this because I didn't think I was ever going to be good enough to play.  And I'll never forget what my Dad told me and parents, I encourage you to let your child know you feel this way.  My Dad said, "your mother and I don't care if you ever make all-league or never get off the bench and we don't care whether you make all-A's or all-C's.  All we want is for you to do your best".  And then he went on to say the most important thing that I needed to hear then and your child needs to hear the same thing, "you see, whether or not you make all-league or warm the bench all four years, or whether or not you make all-A's or all-C's, we are going to love you either way"! 
I can remember the feeling that physically a load seemed to be lifted off of my shoulders.  From that point on, I knew everything was going to be all right no matter what the results were because that's all that really matters parents.  Your child athlete needs you to be there to give him or her unconditional love and support.  They don't need you to be a coach, they have enough of those.  They don't need you to analyze their play, they get enough of that.  Win or lose, playing time or no playing time, just be there to give them a hug and let them know you love them.  That will go a long way in helping your child become successful, which I define as borrowed from Coach John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach and teacher from UCLA:
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming".  Encourage your child to do his or her best and love them regardless of the outcome and you will have done a great job as a parent of an athlete.  Best wishes for a successful year!