Living April 30, 2012

Let the kids have fun playing sports.

I’m from Texas and when I was in the 2nd grade I had to try out for a baseball team. I’ve played college football and I do understand what it takes to play sports at a higher level. I now have a son who is 8 years old and playing kid pitch baseball.

Sure I love to see him get excited about winning, it is sports after all. In the real world of life there is always a winner and there is always a loser. He needs to understand this, I want him to understand what competition is and I want him to enjoy the sport that he is playing.
That said I have witnessed parents that I believe are trying to relive their younger years through their child. you can just see that the parent is causing that child to pull away from wanting to play that sport or the opposite, they are teaching the child how to develop very poor sportsman like conduct from witnessing the behavior of their own parent.
Here are some stats for that over pushy parent that thinks their child is going Pro.
98 out of 100 high school athletes never play collegiate sports of any kind at any level.
Only 1 in 16,000 high school athletes attains a professional career in sports

“Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids’ sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it’s fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn’t about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. Yet the message we are sending from birth is that if you don’t make the traveling soccer team or get into the “right” school, then you will somehow finish life with fewer points than everyone else. That’s not right. You’ll never read the following obituary: “Bob Smith died yesterday at the age of 74. He finished life in 186th place.”

“10½ Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said,” by Charles Wheelan.
My point is this, Kids do need to keep score and understand that in sports you either win or lose but they also need to understand that the conduct and way you carry yourself in life is far more important. Learning to loose gracefully is just as important as understanding how to run a victory lap. Humility can take you far in life.