Ask The Coach Guidance for those lost in sports

October 22, 2000

Dear Coach: I'm the only white person on my high school
basketball team. I sometimes feel as if I'm getting the cold
shoulder from my teammates. Am I being paranoid, or could race
really be the reason?
FROZEN OUT

Dear Frozen: "You're not paranoid, and you're not alone," says
Kenneth Shropshire, author of In Black and White: Race and Sports
in America. "Self-segregated training tables and buses are common
in sports at all levels. You're experiencing the struggle that
broader society faces every day." Luckily, the team environment
encourages unity, so it can be an effective place to break down
racial barriers without overtly addressing them. Says Shropshire:
"You can go out and talk about plays over a burger, not to
improve race relations but to improve your team. You can step in
and play a role."

Dear Coach: My two-year-old son is physically advanced for his
age. How old does he have to be before I start him in organized
sports?
BONUS BABY

Dear Bonus: Whoa, ease up on the pedal there, Dad! "Everybody
thinks he's got the next Tiger Woods," says child psychologist
Darrell Burnett. "The majority of these phenoms will burn out if
their parents aren't careful." Before age six, kids aren't
prepared to compete in organized sports. Their coordination isn't
sufficiently developed, and they lack the ability to focus at
length on a task. Sports are fine, as long as they're geared
toward a child's enjoyment, which ought to be the only goal. Says
Burnett, "Once you start giving instructions, the fun is gone,
and so's the motivation."

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)