By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Sports has been a part of my life for over 50 years since playing my first pee wee baseball game at age six. You can see a lot of crazy things when you’ve been around sports like I have for over five decades.
I never noticed very much going on as a player due to having a wonderful father and mother who refused to interfere. They sat too far off in the stand to cause any distractions.
They never complained about my playing time or that the coach needed to put me at a more favorable position.
My dad gave me one pointer that helped me not only as a player but as a coach and later on as a parent.
“The only thing that a coach is obligated to give you is an opportunity,” Dad would say. “The rest is totally up to you.”
He was correct on his assessment.
I learned that playing time was earned by my performances at practice as well as games. I also learned what it meant to give your all, to dig down deep and find that extra effort. It’s just as important to put out at practices as it is on game day. They all go hand in hand.
Thank God for the three great school ball coaches that I had and my role model parents.
Gary Smith was my elementary basketball coach. He was an assistant coach on the bench for the Lady Bulldogs during this year’s semifinal run at the state tournament. There is nobody that I have more respect for and I still call him coach today at age 58.
Doug Phillips and J.C. Campbell were my baseball and football coaches at Hampton High School. Phillips, a Johnson County native, was a mastermind on the diamond and the gridiron and Campbell’s win-loss record speaks for itself.
All three taught me how to become a man later in life in addition to becoming a good ball player. They also taught me to put the team before myself. Winners are made when you can do that.
So where did my parents fit in?
The answer is one that needs to be taught today.
Dad and Mom never believed in interfering. They trusted the coaches that I played for and not once did they ever approach any of them about playing time.
Dad attended all my home basketball and baseball games and took in some of my football games when work permitted. Mom saw me play on senior night in football and left after halftime. She feared me getting hurt.
But she didn’t make many of my baseball or basketball games either.
Her nights were spent washing clothes, ironing, cooking and cleaning. I always had a meal when I came home after games and not once did I ever lack clean clothes to wear.
To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.