Normally a headline like the above would mean a “lecture” about the importance of good sportsmanship in the bleachers, cheering rather than booing, and keeping all comments positive regardless of the score.
And while all of those statements still hold true at every level of sports, this “good example” topic is different.
This is a reminder that until we are officially in an all-clear from this pandemic, there are going to be rules in place no matter where your team is practicing or playing. As I’ve already experienced, the rules in a public park might be completely different than a privately owned sports complex less than a mile away. Therefore, it’s important to know the rules at every stop, and just as importantly, follow them.
Most likely by this point, your child isn’t required to wear a mask while engaged in a practice or game but might be required to don one when sitting on the bench or standing on the sideline. Coaches might still be required to wear a mask the entire game. Whatever the rules, coaches should be setting an example by following those imposed on themselves and enforcing ones levied on their players.
If the rule for coaches is to wear a mask at all times and they are crumpled up under their chin more often than not, it’s even harder to make the kids follow their mask rules.
It also makes it hard for the coach to enforce whatever mask rules are in place if the parents are not following the regulations. If parents are required to be masked up in the bleachers and they aren’t, it’s difficult for a coach to tell the players, “We need to follow the rules.”
In everyday life, kids usually look to their parents first when it comes to how important a rule really is and whether it needs to be followed. Wearing a mask, or not, is no different.