Some advice for athletes ... and the parents who cheer for them

Chris Rubio

Imagine an extremely large city. A city bustling with restaurants, entertainment and sporting events. This city has hundreds of high schools, countless students, tons of possibilities. People are everywhere and there is always something to do.

Throughout the year, the city's population continuously huddles and rallies to support its local teams and, in correlation, the student bodies.

The cheering just depends on the season. In the fall, it's football. In the winter, it's wrestling and basketball. In the spring, it's baseball, softball, track and golf. Even one of the colleges in the city has a festival of sorts for a spring time sport. The massive metropolis embraces it all.

The restaurants in the city work together to support the young athletes. To increase attendance at the games, the restaurants in proximity to the school playing offer discounts if a customer brings in a ticket stub from the game they just attended.

During the week of the game, the restaurant may even have highlights from the previous game playing on its waiting room TV. This is simple to do since the nearby high school's media class supplies the tape to the restaurants. They work together for one common goal.

Not to be outdone, the school's events offer a discount to anyone who shows a receipt from the collaborating restaurant(s) from the day of the game. They work together for one common goal.

Games, no matter the sport, become events for each and every family in the large city.

Everyone is working together to build spirit and pride in the youth. They, the adults, know that the next generation will be better off with support from all generations and, in turn, it will trickle down to even the younger generations. The more the adults show the students they are behind them, the more the students want to give the adults something to support. It is one big, fantastic cycle.

Schools support the restaurants, the restaurants support the schools. Even the local high school coaches go down to help out or just be seen at the elementary and junior high practices. The youngest kids love this and so do the parents. It shows the coaches truly care and it only takes a couple of minutes of their day.

Everyone is helping one another in this immense city. As hard as it is, they all work together.

Now, imagine the city is smaller ... much smaller.

Instead of hundreds of high schools, thousands and thousands of students and countless restaurants, there are just a handful of high schools, a mere couple of thousand students and a spattering of restaurants.

Imagine a community like ours. With a much smaller number of schools, students and businesses, it would be much easier for everyone to work together to put overflowing pride back into the community, the schools and, most importantly, the children.

But you don't even have to imagine. This is happening in communities all across the country.

Why aren't we doing it here?


Rubio runs and He played football at UCLA from 1993-1997 and is active on social media on Twitter at @TheChrisRubio and Facebook at Rubio Long Snapping. He can be emailed at