Dear Athletic Support: Back when I was a kid, I remember my football coaches always washing all of our gear. It’s not like that anymore. My daughter is in junior high volleyball and we have to wash all of her stuff every night. It’s such a hassle. We can’t just not wash her stuff and have her stinking out there on the court, but it really is a pain. Guess I just wanted to know why coaches stopped washing their players› stuff. Maybe volleyball coaches never did this in the first place? Maybe it was only for football? If so, that doesn’t seem right to me.
— Washed Up
Dear Washed: Doing laundry was the bane of my existence during my coaching days. I’ll never forget getting done with a game on Friday night, still juiced up from the adrenaline, and then having to sit in the field house for another three hours while we waited on the laundry to get done.
So, yeah. I feel your pain. Laundry stinks.
And I’m not actually sure if volleyball ever did laundry. I’m sure some schools did, but I don’t remember it happening at the schools where I coached.
In the end, this is a small hill, and definitely not one worth dying on. Complaining to the coach or trying to get it changed will not help. Just do your daughter’s laundry and remember that one day her volleyball days will be over and she’ll move out of your house. Who knows, you might even miss doing her laundry!
Dear Athletic Support: My kid’s school just spent all this money on a new track. We’ve got a crumbling high school, but boy, do we ever have a fancy new track! The administrators sold us on this big idea that the school would make most of the money back from the purchase of the track by hosting meets. They said the money from the concession stands and tickets and all that would add up. The track would pay for itself. I don’t have a clue how much a new track costs, but I know a Diet Coke costs a couple bucks at the concession stand. Popcorn’s around a dollar, I think. How much candy are they going to have to sell to pay for this thing?
— Who You Kidding?
Dear Kidding: If my calculations are correct, your school would have to sell somewhere around fifty-thousand Snickers bars to cover the cost of that new track. Which, in turn, means they’d have to host a whole bunch of meets over the course of a minimum of two decades.
The bad news? After twenty years, it’s going to be time for another new track.
But listen. Don’t worry about the budget. That’s the school’s job.
Any and all new facilities at your school are going to improve the kids’ experience. Period. All things work together. Even if your kid isn’t on the track team, some of his/her friends might be. Just be thankful your administrators are doing what they can to improve the campus.
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Send questions for “Athletic Support” to email@example.com