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Old 04-05-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Who, exactly, is "we"?

I can tell you my DH and I had the judgement (he alone had the stones) to say, "One sport at a time". We never let them be over-scheduled and we never felt there was some invisible pressure on us to rush from one event to the other or to sign them up for every organized sport under the sun. All you have to do is be the Mom or Dad and say, "No".

Did you feel you couldn't do the same?
Hey, we're one-sport-at-a-time parents, too. But even a single sport sucks up that much time.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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When my kids play sports there were basically three levels of involvement to choose from.

1.Church and city parks teams. Cost was minimal, enough to cover uniforms and help replace worn out equipment. Practice was a three times a week, they were happy if you made it at least once a week and winning an actual game was a nice perk, if it happened. Low stress, lots of fun for most of the kids.
2.School and organized youth teams. More serious, cost a bit more, more of a time commitment required.
3. Travel teams, for the serious players and parents. I think those kids used to eat breathe and sleep sports, and their parents invested some pretty serious time and money into it too.

Fortunately for me my kids were more into it for the social aspect, as they weren't very athletically gifted, so I got away with just doing the church league for several years before they moved onto other interests.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
We must be reading two different threads. I haven't seen anyone say that sports is more important than getting an education nor have I seen anyone insulting those who are uninterested in sports.

You however, do seem unwilling to acknowledge that sports CAN be a positive thing in the lives of some children/teens. If having the hopes of playing on a team keeps an otherwise "at risk" student in school and focused on success - how is that a bad thing? If an athletic scholarship allows a student who might otherwise be unable to attend college -how is that a bad thing? If an always gangly, otherwise shy, introverted child, finds all of a sudden he is pretty darn fast and gains confidence through running cross country or track how is that a bad thing? If going to football/basketball/whatever other sporting event allows kids a safe place to socialize with their peers and root for a common thing - even if that is all they have in common...how is that a bad thing? In most schools that I know of, participation in sports, is not mandatory. No one is insisting that you personally have to participate, or even like it. But no need to dis on those who do....<shrugs>
Something similar happened with my kids. Both were/are small, the younger one in particular shy and not at all outgoing. They went to a large high school. Being on a team gave them a "small group" experience, and both were captains senior year. Both learned some leadership skills they would not have had the opportunity to do via student council, etc.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Hey, we're one-sport-at-a-time parents, too. But even a single sport sucks up that much time.
Heck, we even take it a step further and only allowed one TEAM at a time. Our kids have friends that play one sport, but will play for 3 different teams at the same time-it's crazy. One girl plays soccer. Her parents spend $3000/MONTH on her soccer fees/travel costs/hotels, etc. They want her to get a college scholarship. I have to bite my tongue every time they talk about that because they have been forking over $3000/month for over 5 years--which would have MORE than paid for college .

She practices after school for the school team, then goes right to her rec team and then to her elite team practice. The rec team and elite team only practice 2 nights/week each during the fall and winter but the elite team has games every Thursday and Saturday-the Thursday games START at 10:00 PM .
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Heck, we even take it a step further and only allowed one TEAM at a time. Our kids have friends that play one sport, but will play for 3 different teams at the same time-it's crazy. One girl plays soccer. Her parents spend $3000/MONTH on her soccer fees/travel costs/hotels, etc. They want her to get a college scholarship. I have to bite my tongue every time they talk about that because they have been forking over $3000/month for over 5 years--which would have MORE than paid for college .

She practices after school for the school team, then goes right to her rec team and then to her elite team practice. The rec team and elite team only practice 2 nights/week each during the fall and winter but the elite team has games every Thursday and Saturday-the Thursday games START at 10:00 PM .
See, that's exactly the kind of insanity I'm talking about, and one I certainly wouldn't allow with my children. But it shows exactly how overboard this can get. What parent in his or her right mind allows a child of any age to play soccer until 11:30 or midnight on a school night?

When my sixth-grader had baseball in an ordinary parks league, we had games that lasted until 10:15 p.m. And if you don't think that doesn't take a toll on the child the following day at school, then you're just kidding yourself.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:42 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,563,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
See, that's exactly the kind of insanity I'm talking about, and one I certainly wouldn't allow with my children. But it shows exactly how overboard this can get. What parent in his or her right mind allows a child of any age to play soccer until 11:30 or midnight on a school night?

When my sixth-grader had baseball in an ordinary parks league, we had games that lasted until 10:15 p.m. And if you don't think that doesn't take a toll on the child the following day at school, then you're just kidding yourself.
They can't seem to figure out why she wasn't accepted into the honors program in high school either--maybe because her GRADES were horrible?? I don't get it either. Heck, I don't want to be up that late on a school night.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Yeah, I know. Actually criticizing youth sports is the equivalent of spitting on the flag or forgetting to call your mom on the second Sunday in May to wish her well.

But I'm going to do it anyway.

What has happened that we parents have turned into such slaves to the dictates of little league athletics? When did baseball, soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball become how all conscientious parents are supposed to spend several days each week?

My past two weeks, I've spent exactly two days NOT attending some athletic event, whether it be a practice or a game. Last weekend, I spent two long days at an out-of-town lacrosse tournament. Meanwhile, my yard goes unmown, my kids are living off junk food, and I haven't really spent more than twenty minutes a day comparing schedules with my frazzled wife.

Dinnertime for the family? Out. Church? Out. Social time with our adult friends? Out? Homework? Barely getting done.

What's more, our kids aren't even in travel ball for their sports. To me, that's a special brand of insanity. Let's see. Every other weekend, you take your ten year old to some other city to stay in a hotel and sit in bleachers watching little league baseball. Forget the expense, forget the fact that it's grossly unfair to your children who don't play sports, forget the fact that parents now have even less free time. What halfwit would sign up for this?

They're freaking kids. It's a freaking game. How on earth could we have been suckered into this manifestly dumb behavior? Anybody have a clue?

Thanks. I just had to get that off my chest.
I can identify with everything you said! My son is a swimmer and it feels like it consumes our entire life.

One thing that helped is when we transitioned from a parent driven club to a coach-driven club. Parents aren't really welcome at the practices and no one is vying to volunteer so little Johnny will get all the coach's attention. I love it!

Also, in our old state, the kids could swim both High School and USA Meets at the same time ~ which meant a high school meet on Friday or Saturday (or both) then traveling 2-3 hours on Sunday to catch the tail end of a USA meet. In our new state, kids cannot swim USA during the high school season. Another Amen!

Seriously, I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, it has given my son a group to belong to in high school and taught him loads of time management and working to achieve a goal. OTOH, these kids have tons of pressure to succeed (they're all going to be Olympic athletes right??); and family life does take a big back seat.

So I don't have an answer; I don't know when this became how we live. I think a whole lot of families struggle to find some kind of healthy balance.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:05 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,971,555 times
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Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
I don't think kids who are not interested in organized sports are singled out at all, especially as kids age and the less interested kids drop out, or don't make the teams. In elementary school the boys do tend to play sports in the school yard but it does not require that the boys who play be especially good at whatever sport is being played. My middle son likes to play games with other kids but does not excel at organized sports and he has lots of nice friends, a girlfriend and an active social life. I think your kids will be fine.
This is reassuring, thanks...because I am almost 100% certain that my kids will be nowhere close to being good at any team sport. For now, I am just desperate to come up with ways to make them get outside and just run around. Today I took them out in the yard, and they dragged some darn books with them.

I just keep hearing all this storm about sports practice, left and right, but it hardly occurred to me that by a certain age, the sport would have to get serious so only the really good athletes would make the team.
Pardon the ignorance, I just don't know much about youth sports because I've never had an interest in them and nobody I knew growing up did beyond the informal, unsupervised ball kicking in the school-yard that my brother would sometimes do.

For now, I don't think we need to worry about "making the team" because we won't even come close to the team, let alone "making it".

Last edited by syracusa; 04-05-2011 at 10:20 PM..
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I don't think you HAVE to play sports in order to be accepted or fit in. I would venture to say that it's probably a 50/50 split between kids who play sports and kids who don't at the elementary level and becomes even more lopsided in the favor of those who don't as you get into the high school years.

I do think it is worth the effort to let your children try sports if they show interest, but if there is no interest than it is what it is. I will assume that your kids are interested in other things and that you are encouraging them in exploring those interests. That's what really matters.

However, I would say that crusading against a passion that is shared by a large number of people is probably a sure way to make yourself a target of ridicule. I don't criticize people who choose to invest hours upon hours of their life practicing a musical instrument or any other such pursuit. Conversely, I don't expect them to be critical of people who choose to play sports.

In your kids case, I seriously doubt they will be the subject of much ridicule or bullying for their choice not to play sports unless of course, they adapt your attitude of "sports are pointless and such a waste of time, I have better things to do."

Different strokes for different folks, no need to get your "red, bright and glorious passion" up over something so inconsequential.
MJGoat,

You are right. I may have over-stated it and I was partially joking. I am just often flabbergasted to see how many families make organized sports an absolute priority when other important things (check the Math thread) are left un-tackled. (No time to drill my multiplication tables because I've got soccer practice? Are you kidding me?).

All of these families cannot possibly have children who are incredible athletes and who would otherwise become a waste/get into gang activity, etc.

I do agree that people with children who are very athletically endowed should be pursuing that route because it is obvious they need to be doing that rather than struggle to make it in life with academics. But just like academically gifted children, these athletically gifted children are few and far between. The rest just seem to get more involved than they should in sports while dealing only superficially with academics.
This is my only gripe. Just too much cultural emphasis on sports, overall.

Otherwise, if you say my kids won't be ridiculed, singled out, excluded, you name it - because they are not athletes...it's all cool.
(No, they are not overweight...which is certainly not to say that if they were, other kids should have a license to do the above; oh, well - YKWIM).
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:28 PM
 
Location: here
24,484 posts, read 28,868,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Heck, we even take it a step further and only allowed one TEAM at a time. Our kids have friends that play one sport, but will play for 3 different teams at the same time-it's crazy. One girl plays soccer. Her parents spend $3000/MONTH on her soccer fees/travel costs/hotels, etc. They want her to get a college scholarship. I have to bite my tongue every time they talk about that because they have been forking over $3000/month for over 5 years--which would have MORE than paid for college .

She practices after school for the school team, then goes right to her rec team and then to her elite team practice. The rec team and elite team only practice 2 nights/week each during the fall and winter but the elite team has games every Thursday and Saturday-the Thursday games START at 10:00 PM .
As I'm reading this, thinking it is insane, I asked DH about it. He did, indeed, play on 2 or 3 soccer teams at a time in HS. He was really good, and was trying to make the state team, which he didn't do, nor did he get a scholarship. He apparently enjoyed it. He did get a trip to Europe out of it. No way did his parents spend $3k a month on it though.
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