Football parents, you can publicize your kid WITHOUT downing someone else’s…

Photo: Micke Nicholson, coachingyouthfootball.org

Football season is right around the corner. KPGFootball will be out and about on Friday nights like we are every season.

We generally draw a large crowd around us wherever we show up and many around us are parents pushing their sons on us in the hopes we will remember them when it is All-State team selection time.

This is perfectly alright. We will never discourage fans from coming up to anyone we have, at any game, and getting us up to speed about your son and both his play and abilities which bear on his play. You are your son’s top-fan and advocate and if you don’t let us know how great he is, we might never learn of it.

That being said, there is a right way to be a football-parent and a wrong way. To demonstrate the right way, we could give you an infinity of parents who subscribe to our site who do it correctly.

We get notes from subscribers all the time along the lines of “Hey, KPGFootball, we see where you have the only 8th-grade, middle school, All-State football team in Kentucky (also have Kentucky’s only 9th and 10th grade All-State teams). Well, my son is 6-2, weighs 265, plays for Team Kentucky FBU and Future Stars, and is an offensive LT. He runs a 5.7-forty, deadlifts 425-pounds, has been timed in the short-shuttle at 5.0, and broad jumps 6’10.” Would you consider him for a feature? Here’s a picture of him taken by ______________.”

Now, we just gave you that as an example. Your son’s most impressive stat may be his bench press, or his back-squat, or his vertical, or his L-cone drill. Just send us the information you believe best exhibits why he is an extraordinary football player at his level of development.

If you have game stats, great! Send them along please. Remember, we not only publish the only MS, 9th, and 10th grade, All-state football teams in Kentucky history but are subscribed, voting members of the AP’s All-State (Media) Football team.

When we are approached the above way…you will find us very receptive to your information. Now for the wrong way, which is curiously how we are approached most of the time, please see the below appearing…

“I read your article about the MS All-State team and you need to do your homework.” Translation…You left my relative, probably my son, off of your team, you moron!

Look, while we may have omitted your son from the team, it is for one of only two reasons. It may be because we just missed him, which we are prone to do as there are misses on any and every team. Or, it may be because he isn’t nearly as good as you think he is. Either way, positioning us immediately into a defensive posture will accomplish nothing you will find very rewarding.

“You’re team is a complete joke!” Translation…You left my relative, probably my son, off of your team, you moron!

We try not to take things personally, and we certainly strive not to hold it against the kid that you possess all the tact of a buffoon.
That being said, we are only human. If your son is a middle school kid, you may have just cost him either selection or, certainly, our vote for any All-State future team on which we are registered voters (which, by the way, is every single one in Kentucky aside from the Coach’s poll) for the next 5-6 years.

Remember, you were taught in Sunday school …the tongue pours fuel on a fire that would go out if left alone! Do not be rash with your mouth,…let your words be few. King Solomon, Eccl. 5:2.

There are many more criticisms like the above two which we could give in example. It would be needlessly redundant. You get our drift (we hope).

We want to finish up by telling you an anecdote. To protect the kid from his rather dim-witted father, we will refer to the player as “John Smith” though that wasn’t his name.

We were up in a press-box, pre-game, for a Friday game night to which we had traveled several hours to attend. It was a playoff game and the AD had invited us to watch it from the sideline. We were pressing flesh up in the press-box before coming down to the field.

A guy wearing team paraphernalia was up in the box and asked us whether we were with KPGFootball. Our game gear had it plainly stitched over our left breast, so the answer appeared obvious (we felt), but anyway…

We told him we were and he asked us who we were there to watch. We named a few of the players on the team we had before featured and whose candidacies for All-State team inclusion was being studied. His comment was, “If you think those guys are good, you really don’t know much about (Name of High School)-football. John Smith is three times better than the players you just mentioned. That’s who you need to be watching, not the other guys.”

I looked at the photographer with me on the night in question as we walked down to the sideline after this encounter and asked, “How much would you like to bet we just met John Smith’s dad?” He didn’t want any of the action.

You see, you really aren’t fooling a soul. We know that is your son and the way in which you have disparaged the other players in an attempt to point-out your son’s superiority has made us immediately discount anything you have to say.

That could have been handled so differently. Had the guy said something to the effect of Yeah, those guys you just mentioned are super players. I’ll tell you what, we have another “under the radar” guy you should watch tonight. He is number 34 and his name is John Smith and we think highly of him and would love to hear your impressions. Why don’t you watch him tonight too, while you’re here? I will try to find you as the game goes along to see what you think.

Had it been handled that way I wouldn’t have just assumed this was John Smith’s dad. I would have assumed he was a fan of John Smith’s play who had an impartial opinion John was an All-State caliber player. It would have made me curious about his ability and I would have definitely watched him.

The key point here is to promote your player, whether related to you or not, WITHOUT downing the player the scout, writer, All-State voter, or football coach has already decided he likes. The more you attack our opinions the more defensive we become.

Remember this…you can’t win an argument with another person who doubles as the person judging the outcome of the debate. Promote your son by all means. Don’t approach KPGFootball and put us in a defensive posture about our assessment of another kid.

In the end, we are the judges in our own courtroom of opinion especially in selecting players to All-State teams we, and we alone, sponsor and publish. You can’t beat us in our own court. You will do yourself more harm than good even trying.

This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!

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