Helping Prevent Addiction
Helping Prevent Addiction
A Very Good Idea
By Ned Wicker
I have long been an advocate of beginning drug prevention early, and using sports as a means to communicate life lessons to young people. Over the years I have extended my ministry to include sports coaching, primarily baseball and football, as I’m a jock at heart and believe that sports can play a significant role in helping formulate interpersonal relationships, work ethic, etc.
From time-to-time I see things that excite me and “Healthy Competition” is one of those programs that resonates with me. It’s a collaborative effort between the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Partnership for a Drug Free America.
You can find the information at:
Let’s face it, we all need coaching. In a letter from Philadelphia Phillies lefty Jamie Moyer, he explains, "Healthy Competition, is a resource for parents (and their children) looking for valuable information in the areas of fitness and nutrition that can help them raise healthy teens and student athletes. It is associated with the Partnership's TimeToTalk® program for parents of teens and tweens.”
Moyer and other major leaguers are also dads and they offered their help to other parents to “steer teens away from the risks of drugs and alcohol.” There’s also a downloadable parents’ guide to help with facilitating meaningful conversations, and to help parents recognize those all important “teachable moments.”
Many schools offer some kind of drug abuse prevention programming, such as D.A.R.E., but this online guide is for parents and their children. The one-on-one, relational aspect makes this more attractive to me, because parents are taking the initiative and responsibility to parent their children.
Yes, it’s great that the ball players are lending a hand, but the frontline responsibility lies with parents, as it should. Moyer isn’t just lending his name, he also has eight children and this is important to him.
Prior to my entering ministry, I spend most of my adult life as a sports journalist and got to meet so many athletes who were involved in community programs.
Some sadly were just going through the motions, some did it to hob-nob with Hollywood celebrities, while others invested themselves into the effort, beyond the cameras, away from the reporters and they did it because it was not only a good thing to do, but because they believed in it.
I remember many years ago when an Indy Car driver agreed to do a tour of hospitals to visit terminally ill children. He said he would do it if there was no publicity, and I was his publicist, so that was the agreement.
It was the only time in my life when I completely shut the door on anyone knowing what he was up to. It would have been a honey of a publicity story, but he would have none of it. He did it for all the right reasons., and to this day, that’s what I remember most about him, his character.
I encourage you to take a look. Anything that will help a parent talk to their child and facilitate a real and meaningful dialog is a good thing. “Healthy Competition” is a good tool, one of many, and it’s worth consideration.
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