We are here to sharpen each other

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17

School is here.

Sports are here.

Band is here.

Cheerleading is here.

It’s time.

Homework, laughs, hard work and disappointment.

Tears of joy and tears of heartache.

Leaders and followers.

Parents watching from the sidelines.

Parents getting in their helicopters.

One of my favorite bible verses is the one above.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Where does one sharpen another?

Classroom.

Weight room.

Any athletic venue.

Band room.

Chess team.

Debate team.

Who sharpens another?

Coaches on coaches.

Coaches on players.

Players on players.

Players on coaches.

Siblings.

Graduates.

Who listened when Big Red and WVU graduate Shaq Petteway talked to the football players inside the fieldhouse?

Everyone?

Listen to graduate when they tell you how hard college really is.

Two weeks of the Olympics has shown us the gamut of emotions and class.

Be a Kerri Walsh Jennings …

“I don’t want to be better than you or her or him. I want to be better than I am right now.”

… and not a Hope Solo.

“But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today…Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer.”

Be a Simone Manuel …

“It is something I’ve definitely struggled with a lot. Coming into the race, I tried to take weight of the black community off my shoulders. It’s something I carry with me. I want to be an inspiration, but I would like there to be a day when it is not ‘Simone the black swimmer.'”

… and not a Ryan Lochte.

“My mistake was over-exaggerating.”

Be an Allyson Felix, the most decorated women in U.S.A. track and field history.

“When you feel broken. When you have nothing left to give. Remain faithful. Keep fighting. Joy comes in the morning.”

Be a Ryan Murphy.

“We worked really hard to get to this point.”

Be a Katie Ledecky.

“Everything really hurt at the end. And, I’m really glad it hurt because it says I pushed myself to the max.”

Be Simone Biles.

“Never give up…I’ve had periods where I didn’t think I would accomplish all the things that I’ve accomplished.”

Be Usain Bolt.

“It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

Be Michael Phelps.

“I always think that anything is possible and anything can happen.”

Be Kerri Hamblin.

Be Ginny Thrasher.

They didn’t get there without someone sharpening them on a daily basis.

¯ Please follow the chain of command.

The first phone call cannot be the superintendent’s office.

And, if it is, I really hope the superintendent politely hangs up.

1. Athlete talks to the coach

2. Athlete talks to the parent(s)

3. Athlete and parent(s) talk to the coach

4. Athlete and parent(s) talk to the coach and athletic director

5. Athlete and parent(s) talk to the coach, athletic director and administrator

6. Board of directors get involved

If your child has no problem with the amount of playing time he/she receives, neither should you.

If the child does not like the amount of playing time, he/she goes to the coach and no one else.

Here are the three things coaches should never talk to parents about:

1. Playing time of the child

2. Playing tine of another child

3. Game strategy

Other than that…

We parents are not in practice and see what our children do.

We parents are not in the classroom to see how our children act.

Participating in extra-curricular activities is not a right.

All administrators, coaches and teachers to hold our children accountable.

¯ Own it.

Own the mistake.

Own the poor decision.

No excuses.

When you see a teammate not owning it and making excuses, be a leader and stop him because iron sharpens iron.

¯ Remember, even Satan believes in God.

¯ Now that the summer Olympics are over and we have to wait another four years for Tokyo, instead of trying to pick out the best Olympian of all time, can’t we agree that Phelps, Bolt, Biles and Felix and others are just really good?

¯ Having a hard time keeping your tongue, please let me help.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” — Proverbs 10:19

“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” — Proverbs 13:3

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” — Proverbs 15:1

“A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” — Proverbs 15:23

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” — Proverbs 16:18-19

“A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.” — Proverbs 18:7

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” — Proverbs 18:21

“Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” — Proverbs 18:21

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. He can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com and followed on Twitter @HSDTsports)

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