Thursday, February 19, 2009

How To Explain A-Rod's Behavior to Kids

This is a tough one. You have the greatest player of our time who is idolized by kids in a situation where he has "cheated". Add to this his less than upfront way of handling it with the media. I've even heard stories of parents calling up baseball leagues demanding that #13 be removed from uniforms... other players had that number too.

Let's look at this as an opportunity to teach kids some important life lessons. Keep in mind that younger kids probably won't understand the gorey details.. nor should they be exposed to them. Here are some thoughts about how to explain this to kids (depending on age).

1. On illegal drug use.... Drugs of any kind are only good for you if a doctor recommends them to help you. Any person that takes any drug without a doctor's permissions is not doing the right thing or possibly breaking the law. A-Rod did the wrong thing by taking those drugs and he knows it now. He wants his fans to know this... especially kids.

2. On telling the truth... Life can be complicated for adults. Some adults have a difficult time being honest with themselves and others. You can learn from this... make a commitment to yourself that you will always be truthful with yourself and others.

3. On being a good teammate... When your part of a team it's part of your responsibility to be a good teammate and help your fellow players. The other Yankee players were there to support A-Rod not because they agree with what he did.. but because he is going through a tough time. He is working on apologizing and that is what his teammates are supporting.

4. On his baseball stats and records... While records are cool to talk about, they are not what baseball is all about. A-Rod has probably learned that having good teammates behind you and playing the game are the most important things about baseball.

5. Is A-Rod still a good players... A-Rod is a great player. He is fun to watch play the game and you can learn a lot from watching him play. He made a mistake, he's trying to say he's sorry and he wants to move and play baseball. He wants all kids to know that what he did was wrong.

I hope these suggestion will help both coaches and parents deal with explaining this to kids.

Coach Bob

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