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.