Guest Editorial: The Game Belongs to Them

We all want to win. We want to be the best that we can be.  We also want our children to win, in life and in sports!


Unfortunately, in most sports, only one team can win.  And also, unfortunately, sometimes parents can want the winning just a little too much. It is healthy to root for your home team and be a little sad or disappointed when your team loses.  It is not healthy to yell at high school officials or our kids because they did not have the best performance.  In fact, it is becoming difficult for most schools to find officials willing to officiate high school sports now because of an increasingly hostile environment in this regard.

In response to this, the Blythewood High School athletic department has developed an Athletic Parent Council chaired by Sport Psychology Teacher/Mental Performance Coach Ben Ehrlich with representatives from each sport to address this and other issues.

The purpose of this council is to make Blythewood High School sports a more positive experience for all involved, but most importantly, for the teen athletes.

As part of this campaign we are rolling out a new initiative entitled “The Game Belongs to Them.” This initiative is to remind everyone that the high school sports experience belongs to the student athletes.

Parents most certainly play a very important role in their student’s athletic experience. However, we must keep a healthy perspective.

Director Barry Mizzell and Principal Matt Sherman are behind this campaign 100% and have pledged their support in every way.  The Parent Council will be selling T-shirts for $10 at sporting events leading up to the March 27 games. All fans who wear their shirts on March 27 will be admitted to their game free of charge. Fans of sports that do not play on March 27, will be able to wear their shirts to the next home game free of charge.

Our Parent Athletic Council created a parent pledge based on what our student athletes want and what research supports about creating a positive environment for competition.  It would be wonderful if every parent signed this pledge! Also, Mr. Ehrlich and a group of student leaders have created a YouTube video to help promote the campaign in a humorous, fun way.  The short video features parents, students, coaches and teachers cheering on the campaign.  Mr. Sherman also plans to post signs for us at all of the facilities at BHS.

We hope to have as many parents participate as possible. I think this show of support will go a long way in positively impacting players and parents alike.

It’s true that teens can learn a great deal from being involved in sports, but maybe they can learn just as much from how their parents act and behave at sporting events. Positive behavior makes life better for everyone involved.


  1. Take 15 minutes and watch this February 2001 presentation of the late Coach John Wooden, titled “The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding.”. It’s one that every teacher and student should watch. Be sure to reach some of the comments, too.

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