Ask The Coach Guidance for those lost in sports

February 26, 2001

Dear Coach: My five-year-old daughter is interested in T-ball,
but my wife doesn't want her to start because she'll only be
disappointed later in life when she finds out baseball is for
boys only. Is my wife right?
GIRL TROUBLE

Dear Trouble: Tell your wife not to look too far down the road.
Your daughter should explore all kinds of athletic endeavors,
since her interests will almost certainly change several times.
More important, don't discourage her because of possible
roadblocks. Opportunities for women--even in traditionally
male-dominated sports--are growing. More than 1,300 girls played
varsity baseball last year, according to the National Federation
of State High School Associations. So forget about glass ceilings
and realize there's a future in baseball for your daughter--if she
wants it.

Dear Coach: I'm a high school basketball coach, and the point
guard and the power forward on my team don't get along. Each
thinks he should be the team leader, and the friction is tearing
the team apart. What to do?
DIVIDED WE FALL

Dear Divided: Making your stars play like Stockton and Malone
instead of Shaq and Kobe is your responsibility. "Sit them down
and explain that they don't have to like each other, but they
have to get along," says Dan Doyle, former coach at Division III
Trinity College in Hartford. "Tell them if they don't, they'll
sit. The best player on the floor is the team unit." It might be
tough to have your stars on the bench, but be firm. Says Doyle,
"Make it clear if they want to play, they play by your rules."

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