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Article posted: 7/11/2013 5:00 AM

Hawks a model for young athletes, parents

As a pediatrician and five-decade Daily Herald reader, I believe one of your all-time best editorials was this past Feb. 8, "A model reminder for youth sports." I had hoped you would have taken opportunities to re-emphasize that important message. You haven't, so I will.

Your editorial relayed that the Hoffman Estates Park District's ice programs chose to post a list of rules designed to discourage parents from criticizing refs and opposing players, including their own children. The list read as follows: "1) These are kids. 2) This is a game. 3) Parents should cheer for everyone. 4) The referees are human. 5) You and your children do not play for the Blackhawks." That last rule was designed to get a chuckle and put things in perspective. But it takes on greater significance in light of the this year's successful quest to win the Stanley Cup.

Your editorial appeared when the Blackhawks were about to break the record for consecutive games without losing in regulation. When asked the secret to their success during that run, the players would consistently say, "We just try to get better every game we play."

Child athletes (and their parents) may not be the Blackhawks, but they can certainly learn from them. Parents can loudly and enthusiastically cheer their children during the games. But more important than that, in those quiet times between games, and especially after the losses, simply encourage your children to continually get a little better at what they do.

Bruce Bedingfield, DO

Chairman, Continuing Medical Education Committee

Saint Alexius Medical Center

Hoffman Estates

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