Dear Athletic Support: My son is going into seventh grade and has severe asthma. This will be his first football season. He has an inhaler but I don’t think he’s using it. I honestly think he’s just hiding it in his locker. It’s getting really hot where we live and I’m more than a little worried. I’m terrified, actually. I want to reach out to his coach and ask if he’ll keep an eye on my son. But if my son ever learned I did that, he would be so upset! I want what’s best for my son. I want him to be safe and have a great football season without having to worry about his asthma. What should I do?
— Hard 2 Breathe
Dear Breathe: You need to make sure your son has access to his inhaler for every practice and/or game. Period.
I spent some time in a seventh-grade locker room. I remember the coaches having a special bag they kept all the kids’ inhalers in. Each inhaler was also labeled. These coaches took that bag everywhere. And I mean, everywhere.
The number one job of any coach is to make sure his players are protected. It’s more important than athletic performance, or even winning ball games.
As far as you having a talk with the coach — yes, by all means, you should absolutely have that conversation. You cannot let your son’s possible reaction negate his proper care.
In the end, a parent is much like a coach in this situation. Your child’s safety is priority number one.
Dear Athletic Support: My son starts on the varsity football team but also plays trumpet for the band. He’s only a sophomore, but I can already tell he’s thinking about quitting band. I think his coach is pressuring him to quit band. My son has mentioned his coach saying stuff about how hard it is to do both. How they won’t be able to meet properly during halftime and make adjustments (I just thought the players drank Gatorade at halftime). I’m at a loss when it comes to what to tell him about this. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. — Band Mom
Dear Band Mom: It is harder to do both at the varsity level. It’s also harder to play multiple sports. But guess what? Life is hard, and learning to juggle more than one activity is a lesson that will take your son a long way. In regard to halftime, yes, there are actually some strategic maneuverings that go on during that break. This is the most time coaches have to actually sit down with their players and talk over what needs to get done in the second half.
With that being said, your son should be able to get a quick recap right before the third quarter and be fine.
The bigger question — will he be able to change out of his bibbers and back into his pads before the second half kicks off?
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. Send questions for “Athletic Support” to firstname.lastname@example.org Eli Cranor