Sunday, October 13, 2013

Soccer player impresses with maturity

Praising high school athletes for their performance inside of sports, and occasionally out of it, is not uncommon. Doing so for this reason probably is.

I'm going to utilize this space this week to heap praise on an athlete for criticism - that's right, criticism.

Out of respect because the athlete didn't intend for this to become public, I won't identify them, other than to share the story of what ultimately came across as a refreshing act of maturity. 

Earlier this week, when the boys soccer Top of the Crop was released, a player saw its contents and noticed his side had positive results against many of the teams ranked. His side was not ranked, and he wondered how that could be.

His solution was to send me an email asking why. He laid out his team's match results against News-Herald area sides ranked in the Crop, cited an example of praise from an opposing coach and explained why he felt his team was worthy of consideration. The email was constructive, clearly thought out, well-argued and - at the end - HE thanked ME for MY time.

The reason, for the record, this team is not in the Top of the Crop - which I explained in response to the player's email - is because the school is not in our coverage area. Only teams in our coverage area are considered for the Crop.

In a day and age in which much of the criticism we face in this job is some anonymous variation of "You're a moron" (or much, much worse), this young man sought out the source with whom he had an issue and directly and constructively delivered his concerns in more than 140 characters.

If only he had any idea the remarkable level of maturity that shows.
- Chris Lillstrung | | @CLillstrungNH

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