Over the next few weeks, many Americans (including me) will watch far too much basketball. We’ll see plenty of heroics, mental mistakes, and bracket-busting endings. But we won’t see a single coach shoot a single basket.
Coaches, of course, know that they’ll draw a technical foul if they step out on the court and interfere with the game. And their assistants know that job one is keeping the coach out of trouble. (Every basketball fan has seen a coach’s assistants drag him back toward the bench when his anger or enthusiasm gets the best of him.)
So what about Scouting? Too often, we as adult leaders inject ourselves into the game—interrupting a youth leader when he’s teaching a skill less skillfully than we think would, shouting “Sign’s up!” before the senior patrol leader has a chance to get control of the troop, etc.
Maybe we need to make our meeting room as inviolate as a basketball court. Maybe we need to empower other adult leaders to keep us out of trouble. And maybe we need to give our youth leaders permission to call technical fouls when we get out of line.
Remember: the championship is on the line.