By Jeremy McDonald
As we finish up that time of year for ‘Moratorium Week’, that random week every year at the end of July that requires teams to have a week off, I find myself getting a tad annoyed over this idea of a ‘week off’ and ‘no contact’ with coaches and no repercussions behind it if you take a vacation.
Good idea on paper yes for the reason that these kids are still growing and are beating up their bodies most weeks of the year. But here’s the thing that even got me back when I was playing at Crater between 2004 and 2006:
The timing of it and the vocabulary of it. Why last week of July. Why the fourth week of July? Why not Fourth of July where some people go camping, some people go out of town for the holiday? Why not Mid/Late June when school just get out?
I would have thought the June option may be the best alternative in that you let kids reset after their studies and those who play two-, three-sports before hopping into Summer activities like Summer basketball, baseball, volleyball and soccer and preparing for any Fall sports.
At the end of July, and I remember this playing myself, you’re getting ready for the season and you’re hitting your stride turning the corner into August and here’s this week. Now you’re a step off coming back entering two-a-days, it’s a momentum killer.
I’ve never really seen a kid, either as a player or media guy, get punished for taking a vacation as long as the communication is there. If it’s there, no problem. If the kid didn’t, he’ll be punished for the first game and docked a few plays for not properly telling the coaching, but by the second game they’re back in the lineup full-time.
Crap, I’ve seen this with Legion ball this year. Kids take vacations and by the second or third game back, they’re back in the starting lineup and that’s only to get them back on track.
Shit American Legion, Travel Baseball and softball overlap the ‘dead’ week with a few days and the kids hop back into their Fall sports (if they play one) like it’s no big deal. Kids play in Hoopla during this time, guarantee they already took their vacations if they did take one.
It should be more of a healing up process entering the Fall Sports season rather then saying, ‘now you have permission to take that vacation’. Has the kid worked his tail off entering his/her vacation whenever it was? If the answer is yes, the kid is going to play. Did the kid tell their coach in plenty of time? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance the kid is going to be fine with playing time.
Before people rip my head off for my opinion on this, I totally side with it. I wish they did a better job timing it out and wording it differently entering the Fall Sports season. It’s all a timing and vocabulary thing for me then saying it’s nothing more than an attack on it.