Blog Entry

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

Posted on: January 14, 2009 1:55 pm
 
A bit of a rant here.

I grew up in a sports household.  I played everything from team sports to individual sports.  I was on the soccer team, baseball team, basketball team, football team, tennis team, track team and I played racquetball, golf and swam.  I loved and love sports with a passion.  I even attended polo matches, motocross and horse races as a kid.  I was always around sports.  I don't feel that I was pushed into sports by my parents though.  I was always presented a choice prior to entering a new sport.  Would you like to learn how to play golf?  If I said yes my father and I would pursue golf etc. My father was happy to coach my brother and my team's if needed and he was a good teacher.

Now that I am a parent I am reluctant to enter my young kids into the world of sports however.  Mostly because I see kids being pushed in ways that I don't think are beneficial to their development.  I want to expose my kids to many things including sports, but I do not want to push them into it.

Where is this coming from?  I guess it is a feeling that I have had for some time, but as a parent I suppose I see things from a different point of view than I did pre-kids.  I see kids whose parents are living vicariously through there kid's sports.  I see kids pushed beyond the physical capacities of their young bodies.  I see the ultra competitive win at all costs insanity of parents passed on to their kids.  I see kids holding press conferences at their schools to announce where they intend to play college football despite the fact that it is a total fabrication. 

What prompted me to write this blog entry was something that is happening in my own neigborhood.   A friend of mine is coaching his son's 6-7 year old basketball team.  You know 1st and 2nd grade learn how to dribble, learn how to pass, learn how to run a play or two and learn the rules of the game.  Non competitive with loose interpretation of the rules to ease the kids into a team sport that can teach them life lessons in the years to come.  WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! 

He has a team of 8 players, 4 of whom are taking private basketball lessons.  PRIVATE BASKETBALL LESSONS for 6 and 7 year olds.  This has gone too far IMHO.  Basketball is a team sport first of all.  Private basketball lessons for 6 and 7 year olds should be in their driveway with their father, not $20 per hour sessions with some sleaze ball trying to make a buck off of 1st graders.  I guess I don't fault the "expert teachers" so much as the parents, but there is plenty of disdain to go around from me.  I could rant for a while hear but I will keep it brief to say that this is the exact reason that I am reluctant to enter my kids into today's world of youth sports.
Category: General
Tags: youth sports
 
Comments

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: January 16, 2009 11:07 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

mikeyfan, for once i agree with you. When I was in high school I had to wrestle, so my parents said. This was despite the fact that every time i would go to a meet or something I couldn't eat after weigh-ins because I was so nervous to just step onto a mat, it drove me nuts. Finally my senior year rolled around and I finally had the courage to tell my parents I was going to quit because wrestling was not any fun for me. Well this caused countless fights with my parents, not to mention that many former wrestling coaches who were still football coaches pulled me aside during football drills to tell me i should wrestle. Anyway, what it ended up boiling down to was that I either wrestled or was grounded during wrestling season. In the end I was going to quit and take the "punishment" but then our star broke a weight class before me his arm and I figured I would wrestle for the team (only having 1 frosh in the upper weights was better than 2), ergo I did it for the team, but i pretty much hated every minute of it.



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 7:42 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

What happens to that 12 year old who buys into the hype and then doesn't pan out?  He won't have a basketball future, and won't have an education to fall back on.  This has nothing to do with minorities or income classes, but what is right.  Bill Cosby has been trying for years to get people focused back on school and the home life.  Focusing on those two items, and not basketball will help a 7th grader out most in life.  A sad state of affairs.



Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 15, 2009 6:06 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

Isn't it amazing, while we are talking about putting too much pressure on the Youth of this country, the NCAA has ruled that a 7th grader is now a prospect and can be courted by colleges.  I'm sorry, but 7th grade?  That is what 12 years old?  Boys are just starting puberty and let me tell you, from coaching 13 - 14 year olds in baseball, Kids that dominated as 12 year olds a lot of times find themselves as also rans at 13 and 14. 

But it must be right it is from the Presidents of our Higher Education Learning process here in the USA.  Of course those of us who speak out about it will be told we are trying to hold back a minority, or a poor kid, or that this rule was adopted to try to keep kids in school, or some other BS.  But the bottom line is it is raising the cost of College and not doing a thing for the kids in our country.




Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 5:12 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

I'm a parent of a 3 year old daughter and 2 year old son.  We walk by the park while the kids are playing soccer and my daughter wants to play in AYSO when she's ld enough.  For her lie, I will support her trying new sports or activities, but I hope I'll never push them into sports they don't want, or private lessons they don't want/need.  I grew up playing the "sport in season" and I am a good athlete.  My kids should be good athletes, but it is more important to foster their social and communication skills in conjunction with their sports skills, not soley focus on sports.  I can't wait for the "organized" sports, but I am also reticent as well. 

The next chapter in my life, and miy childrens' lives, will be interesting and challenging.  Thanks for the post Maestro.




Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 2:21 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

Silver_Bullet.  Good comments.  I believe there is a balance.  If a kid has a talent I think the parent should at least attempt to foster it, but to the point of private lessons for a team sport at age 6.............NOT SO MUCH.  For instance, we have a neighbor who has a 4 year old daughter.  She is a heIIian, but she is extremely strong, fast and coordinated for a kid her age.  However, she isn't in any organized activities.  No gymnastics, soccer, dance or anything that could potentially fosters her obvious God-given talents.  It's a fine liine.



Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 2:16 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

ca_matt.  Agreed.  Way too much emphasis on winning.  Learn to play the game by the rules and learn what it is to be a teammate.  That is all that youth sports should be concerned with.



Since: Jan 1, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 2:14 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

That is great Mikeyfan.  Kudos to you for having the baIIs to stand up for what is right for the kids.



Since: Apr 14, 2008
Posted on: January 15, 2009 12:42 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

I agree with you maestro, but I think a lot of it has to do with all of these multi-million dollar salaries and signing bonuses you're seeing in professional sports these days.  Underachieving parents are putting undue pressure on their kids to be successful, and sports has gotten into the mix of all of that.  If a dad notices his son in the backyard beat the neighbor boy in a foot race, all of a sudden the dad gets the idea his son might have "athletic potential" and signs him up for private running back lessons and throws him into all of these football camps in the hopes that one day his son will become a legendary running back for a university and go on to be a first round draft pick so that his son can one day take care of him financially.  That's my two-bits. 



Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: January 15, 2009 3:32 am
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

Bravo mikeyfan, Bravo!!!  I agree with everything that is being said here.  Youth sports are ment to teach comradery, sportsmanship and team work, not a 10 year old throwing curveballs, private lessons, win at all costs mentality.

 




Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: January 14, 2009 7:56 pm
 

Come on people......let kids be kids please.

What bothers me more in sports is baseball, watching a 6 or 7, even a 9 - 11 year old trying to throw a curve ball.  I umpired a game once, in North Dakota,  It was a 10-11 year old game.  The second pitch of the game the pitcher threw on heck of a curve ball for a strike.  I called the strike, called time out called both coaches to the mound and told them if I saw another curve ball thrown I would have the pitcher removed from the mound, I told them they could play another position but they couldn't pitch.  Both coaches asked me how I was going to do that.  I told them I would do it for Players safety.  They didn't like it and I didn't umpire any more of their games but I felt it was worth it. 

The parents of one of the boys didn't like it but the other one understood.  Tearing up an elbow at 9 - 10 just to win a game isn't worth it, in my opinion. 



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