How Your Child Can Play Back-Up and Still Make You Proud

How Your Child Can Play Back-Up and Still Make You Proud

As a big Miami Dolphins fan, I’ve watched them go through numerous quarterbacks over the past few years--first, second, and third strings. I remember one Sunday afternoon game a couple of years ago when they went through all three quarterbacks in one game. The first string QB went down in the first play of the game. The second string QB went down in the 3rd quarter. It was time for third string QB Tyler Thigpen to step in and do what he’d probably been wanting to do for a long time. Lead his team to a much-needed victory.

And, by the way, he did just that. And here he thought it was going to be just another day on the sidelines, watching. Can’t you just imagine Tyler’s mama after the game? Tyler, I told you, honey, you always have to be ready! You never know what could happen! I said that to my son many times when he was back-up QB in his junior year of high school. He stood on the sidelines, watching many a game, wondering when his t

ime would come. “You never know,” I’d say to TJ. “You’re one play away from getting in. ” And every once in awhile, he did get in. When the 1st QB suffered a tweaked ankle, a cramp, a hard hit, TJ was called in and my heart rate would go from 0 to 60 in about two seconds. If your child’s role on the team is one of back-up–whether it’s 2nd or 4th string–it’s easy for them to get lazy because they think they will NEVER get into the game.

What can you say to encourage them?

Stay tuned into the game
Pay attention to what’s happening in the game.If you are called into play, you will know what you are facing.

Keep up the hard work in practice
At some point, chances are good that you will be called into the game, and when you are, you will be glad that you didn’t slough off in practice.

When you get in, give it all you’ve got
We always encouraged our kids to “leave it all on the field (or court)”. Our way of saying, give it all you’ve got so that when you are done, you can say you did your absolute very best.

Hard work pays off
It may not always get your child a starting spot, but it always feels good to know you've given your best effort. In my son's case, his patience resulted in him earning the starting QB spot his senior year.

At the end of the game, no matter where your child is on the depth chart, no matter how many minutes he did or didn’t play, be sure he knows you are always proud of his hard work and effort.

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