The summer has seemed like a destination for trouble for a lot of athletes. From a player getting arrested for harassing a homeless person to a player getting in hot water for yelling a racial slur at a security guard at a Kenny Chesney concert, it seems that some athletes have not done well with idle time. Many have tried to come up with explanations. Some athletes say they are bored when their selected sport is not in play, while some observers seem to go to the extreme and say that all athletes these days are thugs. I don’t agree with either extreme at all. Athletes might be bored and there can be some thugs in any sport, but both of these are not the prevailing reasons for all of this trouble. So, what has infected some athletes these days? It’s called the “walk on water” syndrome.
Many times athletes are put on a pedestal from a young age. Because of their supreme abilities, people can tend to look the other way when it comes to who a player is. As time goes on, those players who are given a pass begin to think that they can do no wrong. And when they do wrong, they believe that who they are can get them out of the trouble they are in. Unfortunately for some, they have to learn the hard way that they are not above reproach. Some end up losing their entire careers for the dumb decisions they make while others get lucky enough to get a second chance. Some would say that these athletes believe they are above the law. While I agree with that sentiment, I believe that some take it to another level. Some believe that they are gods.
At this point in time, not a lot of these so-called “gods” who believe they can walk on water will change unless something happens unfortunately. But for those that are coming up now, we have to put an end to this. The first step that needs to be made is with parents. It all starts at home. Too many times kids are brought up getting a pass on things. But if we teach them right from wrong and the consequences of bad decisions growing up, then maybe a fundamental change can be made in how kids react and do things. But not to be left out are the coaches that mentor these young men. Some coaches these days are trying to parlay these young men’s futures into positions of power or money for themselves. The thing they should be doing is getting kids prepared for life as well as helping them advance in the sports they choose to play. If every coach had that frame of mind, then eventually the “walk on water” mentality would start to evaporate.
Going forward, I want to challenge every coach, parent and mentor to be better than what they were before. Be as selfless as possible when it comes to these kids. Because as the kids are brought up is how they will more than likely be in life. If they are brought up thinking they can do whatever and get away with it, then we have done them a disservice. And we will continue to see the “walk on water” syndrome that has invaded America in sports.