Young athletes should be taught physical, psychological fitness

July 26, 2013
Old boats are like old people. They have stories to tell, but no one is listening. BY DAVE FREDERICK

Free flowing - Public schools are, in part, interactive mental health institutions. It's not what they are charged to do, but they are good at it. This is a sports column that deals with physical stuff, but the head is screwed onto the body, and many stellar athletes are screwed up or have a few bolts loose.

I always thought that fitness was a deterrent to ridiculousness and that fame and fortune would keep a person safe from behaviors that would destroy them. I am not naïve; just call me stupid. I just always thought being an athlete meant something, that it ingrained a sense of personal pride that would guide a person throughout life.

Schools, I think, should articulate and blend psychology, biology, health and physical education and throw in cultural anthropology with field trips into the Sea World tank that is our great society where you have a 50/50 chance of being an overweight adult standing in the pharmacy line with a frozen pizza under your arm waiting for your prescription mediation refills.

Seriously, it is time to play hardball in high school just to save our kids from stupid!

Boatyard blues - I drove an air-conditioned baby around the town of Lewes Wednesday morning and yes, I know, babies aren’t fuel injected.  I just can’t bring myself to write minivan. The boatyard beyond Irish Eyes cast a harsh bright light reflecting off white stones and there it was, Trails End: an old, wood, rust-stained vessel with a story to tell but no one to listen, just like me. I leaned out to snap a photo and saw my own face on the screen and screamed at myself, “Get out of my photo!” Happy trails to you; the baby in the back seat just woke up.

Call me crazy, call me lazy - There are more coaches and athletes who cruise than work hard at it. I know that is true from a lifetime of experience. I call it "free stuff" to describe the time spent working hard versus half stepping through life. In sports journalism it’s the same. I’ve just been unrelentingly out there because I know most, not all, of the competition is soft. I’ve had great coaches tell me, “I don’t know how smart I am, but I will not be outworked by anyone.” The Cape girls' lacrosse program is a case in point Coach P.J. never stops working to improve the team; trust me, he is three years ahead of next season already.

Snippets - Kadijah Doughty, Cape’s 2013 female Athlete of the Year, will be attending Delaware Tech in Dover this fall where she will play volleyball for coach Cindy Savage. After two years, Deda plans to attend Georgia State. Desmond Sivels, the stellar running back and former DSBA Player of the Year, has left West Virginia Wesleyan to attend Salisbury University. There is a chance that Sivels and Jerome Johnson could end up in the same backfield. Sussex Tech field hockey and lacrosse coach Kathleen "K.K." Fluharty will be honored by Northwestern University magazine this fall as one of the Wildcats’ 10 all-time favorite athletes. Kathleen Kochmansky - hence K.K. - is a three-time all-American in field hockey '82-'85 and lacrosse, pretty impressive to say the least. Cape Henlopen High School boys' basketball and the Cape Crusaders Basketball Club are hosting the Coastal Basketball Academy from Aug. 5 to 8. There is a K to fourth-grade half-day schedule at $75 and a fifth- to eighth-grade all-day schedule at $150. Contact coach Steve Re at 410-430-7852 for more details. Cape football staff is proud to report that this is the strongest team they’ve ever had, with 14 players who can bench 300 pounds.

I will paraphrase my friend, "Lawyer Bill" Schab, who has heard many a tall tale in his career. “Yeah, well it could be true, who knows, just doesn’t sound likely, but hey, I’m wrong lots of times.” I wrote earlier that the Phillies were coming after the Nationals, now it looks like they are both going after the Marlins. Aug. 15 is the official start date for practices for fall sports. Athletes should make sure they have a current physical on file in the school office. The DIAA handbook also says that an athlete owes primary allegiance to the school team, so if you want to step off for a baseball or lacrosse tournament, you need the permission of the head coach even if you don’t have practice. Go on now, git!

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