Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Soccer Moms And Hockey Dads - Insane?

A few weeks ago I found out my cousin's son (my second cousin?) has soccer practice 3 days a week on top of a Saturday game.

Big deal, right?

Well the boy is NINE!

Then the other day I found out that one of my son's local age-mates started playing youth hockey.

Guess what....he's at the rink 5 DAYS PER WEEK.

I just don't get it.

There's no way this is time and energy wisely spent. Whether the child likes it or not....whether you think they like it or not....even if the whole town is doing it.

By committing so much to one activity they are inherently narrowing the kid's life experience. What about the other things they might like even more - things that by default they won't get any exposure to?

And I say this as someone who laments how much of their youth was wasted on organized sports.

I should have been computer programming, running a lawn business, learning a musical instrument, or dabbling in something else that could have paid lifetime dividends.

It does suck that kids can't go down to the park and get their fill of stickball soccer or whatever these days. (No one is there to play with!)

But parents need to open their eyes and push back a little.

I started soccer and basketball at age 8 and I was STILL overly committed.

My freakin' daughter started local soccer last year when she was 4!

Though when my son had the opportunity to start traveling team soccer this fall my wife and I passed - without even the tiniest afterthought.

Meanwhile many of the boys in town not only opted for the traveling team (Saturdays)....but they are also co-enrolled in the intra-town league on Sundays.

And on the sidelines all they do is grumble about *chauffeuring* kids all over the place!

All I'm saying is that there certainly are diminishing returns to youth sports and the point at which they start descending is probably a whole lot earlier/lower than the lumpen masses are aware of.


Anonymous said...

its just another opp to send "off" the kids to school

CaptiousNut said...

But there's no escape! They have to drive them to 1 hour practices and games sometimes 45 minutes - 1 hour away.