Shutdown, no I’m not talking about the Government shutdown! Besides there’s no place for politics in youth sports, which is why we hire unbiased professional coaches, who can give each athlete a fair shake at playing time and the optimal experience. The shutdown I wanted to talk about today is the underappreciated athlete who is a “defensive stopper.”
Every strong team has a “go-to” guy. If the squad needs a clutch hit, crucial out, basket, or first down he’s there. But where is the praise for the shutdown guy? Anytime I’m GM’ing there’s a roster spot, and a big role for this player.
Did you know Michael Jordan was a 9 time first team all-DEFENSIVE player in his career? You probably remember him for all the game winning shots he has made, instead of all the ones he prevented. Does anyone remember the Rams defensive who tackled Kevin Dyson on the one yard line in Super Bowl XXXIV? I don’t, but I remember that play!
The next time you come across the word “shutdown,” see if you can put a positive spin on it for your young athlete. Talk about how a shutdown player is always valued, and is truly appreciated by their teammates. Leave the politics to the Hill, and let’s start teaching athletes what a treasure they can be to their team