The Patriot Athletic Club (PAC) sponsored a guest speaker Monday, July 29, at the annual high school fall sports meeting at Eagle View Elementary School. The topic was sportsmanship.
Kate Dale, PAC board member and Pequot Lakes coach, explained that PAC is a nonprofit organization that was organized in 1988 and provides financial and volunteer support to Pequot Lakes School athletics, arts and activities. In the past 20 years, PAC had provided more than $100,000 in support to these programs.
Dale also alerted everyone that the upcoming coupon book sale benefits PAC and will be available soon.
Dale introduced guest speaker Ken Miller, the associate executive director and junior coordinator for the four-state North Country Region, USA Volleyball. Miller is in his ninth season as an assistant coach with Central Lakes College volleyball.
He spoke to the importance of sportsmanship in youth sports. Miller outlined the various roles of participants at sporting events: spectators, coaches, players, opponents and referees. He explained that the key to creating an enjoyable experience for everyone is respect. All participants must respect the other participants, regardless of their role.
Miller encouraged everyone to remember that sports are supposed to be fun — for everyone (spectators, coaches, players and referees). He reminded the audience that “the easiest place to play, coach and officiate is from the stands.”
Miller reiterated that being an official isn’t easy. He reminded both players and parents that making a call typically isn’t black and white. It’s a gray area.
“Do they make mistakes? Yes. Is there instant replay in high school sports? No. So there isn’t a lot we can do about it except to move on. It’s still just a game,” Miller said. “Winning at all costs minimizes the big picture of the benefits of youth sports.”
Miller visited with several colleagues in the youth sports sector before addressing the audience. When asked what they remember most about their own school sports experiences, many responded feeling regretful about instances when they themselves acted poorly on the field, court, etc.
In closing, Miller stressed that what is important is not whether you win or lose, but how you win or lose. That’s what defines the reputation of a program.
With the opening of the new sports facility in Pequot Lakes, he encouraged spectators, players and coaches alike to make it an enjoyable experience for the opponent.
PAC is actively seeking new members to help coordinate and structure all of the activities it supports.
Meetings are open to everyone and take place on the second Monday of each month at the high school.
Contact Kate Dale at 218-251-2750 for more information.