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Testimonials from Participants in Respect Sports Seminars

On behalf of the Recreation Section of WPRA thank you for presenting at the 40th Anniversary WPRA Conference in Lake Geneva.  Your session that I attended, “Violence in Sports…it’s Not a Game Anymore” was excellent.

Parks and recreation professionals understand the importance of keeping children safe from physical and verbal violence, though we occasionally don’t realize it is happening in our own leagues.  The session was an excellent reminder and awareness for me; I am someone that always preaches the value of youth athletics on successful lives.  Yet I also, from time-to-time become oblivious that there is more that we can do to ensure a positive experience in youth sports.

Your statement that “violence in youth sports may be the only place where verbal and physical abuse is tolerated’ really hit home.  It disturbed me because I know it is true and it is also the last place it should be allowed.

The story telling of real life experiences really sends the message home.  I look forward to attending your other sessions in the future.

Rick Manchester, CPRP
Two Rivers Parks & Recreation Director
WPRA Recreation Section Chair

"I have been a basketball coach for 15 years now (four with my daughter and son), a coach of a student athletes and a Sports Director in Radio and your talk in Two Rivers was fantastic and a must hear for not just those in sports, but parents and children in general.  Here I thought I knew it all when it came to sports and coaching...your talk opened my eyes in four different areas that will not only benefit myself and family, but the student athletes I coach and their families.  Again, thank you for the messages you not only provided here, but spread throughout the community!"

Dan Deicher
News and Sports Director
Manitowoc, WI

I raised four children and they participated in many, many sports. I've seen all types of coaches, parents/grandparents, kids and just "athletic junkies." In all of my experiences, I believe that the most difficult, aggressive and often the most competitive parents are "wannabes." It's like they live through their kids and they didn't like not making the grade themselves. Their children seem like "second chances" for them to hit that ball over the fence, jump higher than the 6'8" basketball player or any other obstacles they were unable to achieve in their own athletic careers.

I wish they could remember that if these children are to be successful in anything, they must develop their own love and passion for what they do whether it is playing the piano or playing football. It will not happen if it is not nurtured and developed as a positive part of their lives. Athletics is such a tremendous learning opportunity. It is unfortunate that there is the negative side along with the positive.

Sara Hughes(Gold medal skater) has been raised with this motto, "It is nice to be important. It is more important to be nice." Look where it got her.

I am in awe of your program. It offers tremendous gifts to anyone in any walk of life. You should be proud of what you are doing.

-Cheryl Hjortaas
Sports Parent

White, who could be called Minnesota's Guru of Sportsmanship, knows what he's up against.

-John Millea
Star Tribune

As a parent, grandparent, coach, official and manager of recreation and athletics, White has seen his share of poor sports. And now, he's blowing the whistle on them...His message is making a difference.

-Michelle Baltus
Minnesota Parent Magazine

I feel kids need to be reminded where the boundaries are between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. It becomes increasingly more difficult to fight all the negative messages to which our young people are exposed. Frank White's presentation is a reminder to us all that good sportsmanship and good citizenship is accomplished by appropriate behavior; one person at a time.

-Pat Derby, Athletic Director
Byron High School
Byron Minnesota

I attended your "taming the game" seminar at Wayzata central middle school on 11/15/05.  I am the father of two young girls and an assistant football coach at WHS.  I witness a lot of the behavior you spoke of on a regular basis, whether it be fans, parents, coaches or players.  And I am guilty of some of it myself on occasion.  I do try to be the best possible teacher I can be.  Programs like yours are a great source of reinforcement to me. 

-Bruce Beltrand
Sports Parent


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