Thursday, December 31, 2009

Just Me Thinks--Sports Injuries

Has anybody else wondered how we developed the very odd but well-established "good sportsmanship" rule of applauding when an injured player leaves a game? I do understand the basic idea of it, that we are applauding the player "giving it their all" and risking their health to play, that it is a form of well-wishing and respect. I know what it is supposed to mean.


applause /əpl'ɔːz/ a demonstration of approval by clapping the hands together

So it just strikes me as a bit bizarre that we are applauding an injury. We are approving it? We are happy it happened? We support it? "You are hurt....YAYYYYYY!"

We are weird people. mk

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mental Health Days

This morning when I went to make sure Mark dragged his sorry carcass out of bed, he did his usual whine and whimper thing about being tired, I did my usual go-to-bed-earlier-then response, and then he started muttering that he really needed a mental health day.

My first instinct was to say no. Repeatedly. Even when he begged. I explained that he would get further behind in his homework, he would miss whatever the teacher was *teaching*, he would miss basketball practice and he's got a game tomorrow, and coach would likely not start him if he had missed the previous day's practice. And that it's two days until the weekend. Listed out all the logical reasons for him to get his butt out of bed and get in the damn shower already. And don't steal my towel!

Then I came downstairs and started to really think about it. Went over the pros and cons.

He's been incredibly busy this year in school. He's taking a full courseload of seven classes, three of which are honors. He is playing sports, and since before school started, he has had practice or games five days a week for soccer, and six days a week for basketball. The bus picks him up at 6:30 in the morning, and sometimes he doesn't get home until 7:30pm (or later...tonight's practice is from 7:15 to 8:45). He is working out--to the point of exhaustion--every day for at least 90 minutes and on alternate days (phys ed) 170 minutes. He gets maybe 7.5 hours of sleep a night, and his baseline need is at least 10.

His schedule today: bus picks him up at 6:30, drops him back at home at 2:30, going to watch the busline semifinals after Kira gets out of school, Kira's practice from 6-7 (where he will work out also, playing bball with the older sister and dad of one of Kira's friends), his practice from 7:15-8:45. And somewhere in there he has to do homework and eat dinner.

So yeah, is he run a bit ragged right now? Definitely. Would he benefit from a day where he could just catch up on sleep and homework? Oh yes.


In two days it's the weekend. Besides practice, he has nothing scheduled. Oh yes, Kira has a game, and he usually likes to take that hour to work out in the fitness room at the Y with that older sister of Kira's friend.

So after he got out of the shower (and dammit, he did steal my towel), I laid it out for him. I gave him all of the pros and cons. I told him to seriously look at what effect it would have on his game tomorrow, where coach would likely not start him and also limit his playtime, since playtime was earned by performance in practice. I told him that a mental health day would not include video games, TV, or computer except for homework. He could use the day to catch up on sleep and homework, and he said he had a book he needed to read for English. And I told him that he could make the decision.

He went to school.

What do you think about teens these days and the idea of mental health days? mk