They’re your No. 1 fans, your biggest support, and for many years, your transportation to all athletic-related events.
They’re your parents.
And whether they pushed you to compete, were former athletes, or just love watching you succeed, believe it or not, they need the offseason just as much as you do.
You’re doubtful, I get it. They don’t have to run sprints, deal with petty team drama, or your coach and their ridiculous rules. But trust me, they have 9 reasons they need a break, too…
1. They actually get to talk to you. Not that they don’t talk to you during the season, but they actually get to talk to you, the real you, the not the “I only talk about my team, my coach, and my playing time” you. Admit it, during the season, dinner-table talk always, always, always, circulates around your sport.
2. There’s actually food in the fridge. Athletes have the uncanny ability to inhale food. Like seriously. After practice, it’s best if the rest of the family just stays out of the kitchen because it’s not safe for human beings in there.
3. They can stop spending money going to see your games. Not that they don’t love watching you play, but, hey, it adds up.
4. They can stop carrying cash. A pain. Unless your high school is super advanced and takes debit and credit, you have two loyal parents sitting outside the gates or door, asking for ones because they’re low on change.
5. They can stop pretending to like your sport (for a little while). While you may love your sport, know all the pros, watch it on ESPN constantly, your parents may not.
I ran track, something my parents were not into. In fact, they mocked it, but they were still at my meets.
And they would listen to me talk about my major competition from other schools and act like they knew they’re stats too (refer to No. 1). Even watched some college competition on TV with me. But how much did they talk about track or watch it in the fall and winter?
Zero. Nada. Zilch.
6. You can drive your siblings places. No longer can you use the excuse you have practice, a game, or some made-up team-bonding thing to get out of it. You’re stuck. They know you have nowhere to be except at the school at 3:30 to pick up your lil’ sis or bro.
7. They don’t have to deal with the “healthier-than-thou” athlete you’ve become during the season.
So many athletes acquire healthy habits that are strictly during the season. No pop. No junk food. No fast food. No longer do your parents have to hear your health spiel when they order pizza for dinner, or buy a 2-liter of pop for the family.
Peace and blessings, over their greasy, fatty, home-cooked meal.
8. They can do less laundry. And less disgusting laundry, at that. No practice? No practice clothes? Therefore, less laundry. They and their nostrils get a break from your dirty socks, the ones you wore to three practices and forgot them in your bag… twice.
9. They can expand their wardrobe. Their high school fan apparel gets a break. I’m sure they love wearing their tees that lets everyone in the stands know that they’re “Jimmy’s Mom” or “Sarah’s Dad,” but they do have other shirts, believe it or not.
Also, there’s probably two or three games or meets a week, so they have to repeatedly wash it.
Refer to No. 8.
Clark, a former volleyball, basketball and track standout at Jefferson from which she graduated in 2012, is now a sophomore at Franklin College, where she majors in journalism and is a starter on the volleyball team. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.