Hi Squash Fans,
Chet Blitzer here—Eighties icon, fourteen-time world champion and official US Squash spokesperson. Those of you who know me—and if you don’t, welcome back after a forty-year sojourn in your cold war bomb shelter—understand that the only thing I love more than the USA and bald eagles is great sportsmanship on court.
When is the time to practice great sportsmanship? As Lionel Richie says, “all night long.” Also, all day long.
Let me be honest. For younger Chet, fair play was a challenge. When you are winning nearly every point, losing a single point is totally lame. I hated it. I would throw racquets and go all “Teen Wolf” right there on the T. But after being banned from several clubs, two restraining orders and substantial damages in a civil trial, I learned my lesson. I needed to bring respect to the game in a big way, and I brought it like a bald eagle brings terror to an unsuspecting salmon.
Throughout this season in Squash Magazine, I’ll be here to answer all your sportsmanship questions. I’ll teach you how to be classy on court like me, Chet Blitzer. Everyone has a hand in making this rad sport fun and ethical—players, parents, coaches and fans.
Check out my sportsmanship tips at www.chetblitzer.com/blog, and send in your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to answering them, in between obliterating my opponents (with class).
My daughter is fifteen. During her last tournament, the players refereeing her match made a series of bad decisions that probably cost her the match. I asked for the referee to be replaced during the match but no change was made. What can I do next time?
It’s tough to watch when we think our little eaglets are getting a raw deal. That said, the rules don’t allow us to replace a referee we aren’t happy with. I learned that one the hard way after I choke slammed that ref in the Faroe Islands (though I did apologize after I was released!). Remember, refs are doing their best, dissent of any kind is against the rules, and at most, let the tournament team know if you think the referees aren’t focusing their eagle eyes on the match, or may need some help.
But let’s cool our jets and look at the bigger picture. Chet has a couple mind-blowers for you, so it’s best you sit down:
- Those player referees may know more about the game than you!
- Your opinions of the calls may be biased—after all it’s your daughter!!
- You aren’t a part of the match, you are there to watch and support your kid (and hope they grow up to play like Chet).
- This is a good time to drop your own knowledge-bomb. Maverick could only move forward from losing Goose once he accepted his role and learned from it. Help your daughter understand that all she could control in the match is how she played and her own behavior, not the referees.
Again, remember the Faroe Islands… NO ONE other than the players should say ANYTHING to the referees during or after the match other than “Hey ref, thanks for doing what you do.”