Booing a 12 Year Old

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a chiropractic blog, too bad!

As a father of four and longtime coach you begin to think that you have seen everything there is to see in youth sports.

I was recently at a 12 year old baseball game when I saw something I have never seen before…a group of adults booing… at a 12 year old baseball game.

Please let me set the scene.

My son’s team is in Fitchburg at a baseball tournament on a beautiful cloud free Sunday morning. The game is well played by both teams with my sons team trailing heading into the last inning. As luck would have it, my sons team scores three runs and takes the lead heading into the home team’s final at bats. The opposing team has one runner on with two outs when their best hitter comes to the plate. My sons coach calls time and walks out to the mound to instruct the pitcher to intentionally walk the batter.

After the first pitch I can hear what sounds a little like booing, however, I am convinced that I am not hearing this correctly, for who boos anything at a 12 year old game?

The second pitch comes in and the booing is now unmistakable, most of the parents from the other team are booing loudly. At this point our pitcher has a bewildered look on his face as it is obvious that he does not understand why they are booing.

When the third pitch is thrown the booing is now louder than ever. The 12 year old pitcher is visibly upset that this is occurring. As the pitcher goes to the mound, he turns and walks away and begins getting emotional. The umpires recognize this and do a fantastic job huddling around him and attempt to get him calmed down.

While this is going on, I got to thinking.

Why would someone boo anything at a youth event? Is the outcome of this event so important to you that you feel the need to try and “get in the head” of the opponent?

Is it possible this was all in fun? Maybe, and I have to give props to one of the parents, he came over and apologized when he realized the effect it was having on the player.

Maybe I am wrong here, however, I really don’t care about the wins and losses. After having attended literally thousands of youth sporting events, the outcomes just don’t matter to me. Think back to your son or daughters last season. Remember the third game they played…do you remember the score? Exactly, no one does!

Here is what is important to me…that my children try their best, be good teammates, treat both other teams and officials with respect, be willing to be coached, be held accountable, be willing to learn from mistakes, be humble, be gracious and most of all have fun with their friends, both old and new.

Now, do I think that everyone deserves a trophy? Not even close. I like that we keep score. The world keeps score and it is good for the kids to learn that in a safe environment.

I also don’t think they should win every game. How boring would that be? Oftentimes you will learn more from the losses than you will the wins, both in youth sports and life.

If I can offer any advice to a parent that is really caught up in all the wins and losses. Please remember to enjoy this time, you only get one crack at it and I would hate for you to miss it while stressing out worrying about if Johnny’s team can win their travel soccer game. I can assure you that Johnny will have forgotten the score of that game by the time he is done with his after game ice cream. You did stop for ice cream right?

Do you have any youth sports stories you want to share? Please comment below and we can discuss.

Auto Insurance Fraud

As a chiropractor part of my job is taking care of people whom have been in auto accidents. As I have written about before, being in a car accident  is one of the most damaging events you can put your spine through and people whom have been in one legitimately need care.

There is a dark underside to these accidents that a lot of people are not aware of.  Let’s say you are the driver of a car that rear ends the car in front of you.  That person could sue you for injuries sustained in this accident. How bad do they have to be hurt to sue you? Much less than you may think.

Here is where it gets ugly.

The possibility of financial gain has led people to staging accidents. How does this work? You put 6-8 people in a car and pay someone to hit it. The “victims” go to a doctor like myself and run up bills of at least $2,000. That triggers a threshold that allows them to sue the person that hit them. The “victims” ask for a small enough amount that the insurance company settles with them in order to avoid long term litigation.

You may ask, “If it is a small enough amount who really cares?”  Not a bad question if it was occasional, however, when this happens hundreds and thousands of  times a day, the money becomes very real, very quick.

Here in Massachusetts, a 65 year old woman died in a stage auto accident in 2003 in Lawrence which at that time was known as the auto insurance fraud capital of Massachusetts.

The Lawrence police joined forces with a fraud bureau and went to work on steadily reducing auto insurance losses with the thought being they would be able to reduce the amount of insurance premiums that you and I pay.

Were they successful? Were they ever! The crackdown led to charges being filed against 488 people in Lawrence. 488 in Lawrence alone!! That is crazy!

Here is where it gets good. The average auto insurance premium in Lawrence was $1613 in 2003. Today it is $1260! Collectively across the state there has been a $266 million reduction in claims dollars statewide.

Why This is So Important

When there is a lot of fraud, the innocent people get swept up in the mess. The patients that were hurt in legitimate accidents were being treated as if they were guilty of fraud.  The honest doctors and lawyers were getting hammered trying to help people that actually needed it.

As these task forces continue to do their work of reducing fraud, the honest people are going to benefit by getting both the health and legal help that they need.