Lead by Example: Wear a Mask

By Jon Buzby | Posted 7/17/2020

The headline might sound odd given the current situation around the country. But ask yourself: As the world of youth sports opens back up, are there more people wearing masks or not at your local practices and games?

Where I live, the answer is – not.

I’m not sure why, and I admit, sometimes I hop out of my car and accidentally head to the port-a-john without my mask. But I’ve been to practices and games where there are parents huddled together chatting, whether along the fence or in the bleachers, standing closer than 6 feet, and NOT wearing masks.

I can’t help but think that some people figure if nobody has a mask on, it’s OK not to wear one.

Or, maybe even worse, that it’s weird to wear one.

And that’s just not true. And it can’t be looked at that way if we are ever going to get out of this pandemic and back to normal. And by normal, I don’t mean completely the way it was, but maybe to the point where teams can high-five after games, concession stands can open, and coaches can get back to just coaching without worrying about social distancing during drills.

Parents should model wearing a mask for their own protection and the safety of others, including your own kids and their teammates. And remember this: Think of you wearing a mask like you wear a seat belt -- if you do it, so will your kids. And if you don’t, why would your kids?

We all have to chip in a lot of ways for us to get through this pandemic. Wearing a mask is probably the easiest thing we can do.

It’s not only OK to wear a mask … it’s necessary.

Find out more about returning to youth football protocols with USA Football’s resources for parents and leagues here.

Stay safe and healthy.

Jon Buzby has been involved in and writing about youth sports for the past 30 years with perspectives as a parent, coach and board member. Jon is an award-winning writer and his latest book, “Coaching Kids Made Easier,” is available on Amazon. Send comments or future blog topics you'd like to see