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Old 04-02-2011, 05:25 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 45,263,909 times
Reputation: 45820

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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.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:47 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,377,870 times
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Questions: How many kids and how many sports for each kid? And is anyone doing two sports at once? And are you also a coach?

Hopefully everyone can share some coping wisdom with you.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 04-02-2011 at 06:19 PM..
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:00 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,743,871 times
Reputation: 12051
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.
Youth sports certainly can get out of hand. Sports are NOT necessary if kids do not enjoy playing. However, in order for parents to enjoy sports they need to be very organized.

Firstly, parents do not need to stay at practice. The coaches are there to supervise the kids. If you need to do other things go home and do them. It's a great time to shop, mow the lawn or prepare dinner. If your child cannot function at practice without you then he/she is to young to play organized sports.

In order to stay organized I keep easy to prepare foods in my freezer. Salmon burgers, hamburgers, boneless chicken breasts are all easy to throw on the grill while the kids shower (or during practice). It's also great to make sauce ahead of time and freeze it for easy reheating.

My kids have been playing sports for about 10 years now. We eat together as a family about 5 nights a week. It takes some organizing but it can be done.

We do not go to church but it is pretty rare for sports to be held on Sunday morning around here as many parents do attend church with their families. The only things we have ever done on Sundays are all star practices. Those are not mandatory so if your child is chosen and you don't want to participate you can just say no.

There is no reason your kid cannot get their homework done just because they are playing sports. End of story. Put the responsibility on them to get their work done. If they don't get it done then take away the activities.

Lastly, if you truly feel it is to much for your family then cut back. Your happiness is more important than any sport.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:02 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,743,871 times
Reputation: 12051
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Questions: How many kids and how many sports for each kid? And is anyone doing two sports at once?

Hopefully everyone can share some coping wisdom with you.
Very good points. When my kids were small we limited them to one sport per child, per season.

Now that my oldest is in high school he is permitted to play lacrosse and weightlift during the same season but he drives so it does not require as much organization as it would have when he was young.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: here
24,477 posts, read 28,782,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
Youth sports certainly can get out of hand. Sports are NOT necessary if kids do not enjoy playing. However, in order for parents to enjoy sports they need to be very organized.

Firstly, parents do not need to stay at practice. The coaches are there to supervise the kids. If you need to do other things go home and do them. It's a great time to shop, mow the lawn or prepare dinner. If your child cannot function at practice without you then he/she is to young to play organized sports.

In order to stay organized I keep easy to prepare foods in my freezer. Salmon burgers, hamburgers, boneless chicken breasts are all easy to throw on the grill while the kids shower (or during practice). It's also great to make sauce ahead of time and freeze it for easy reheating.

My kids have been playing sports for about 10 years now. We eat together as a family about 5 nights a week. It takes some organizing but it can be done.

We do not go to church but it is pretty rare for sports to be held on Sunday morning around here as many parents do attend church with their families. The only things we have ever done on Sundays are all star practices. Those are not mandatory so if your child is chosen and you don't want to participate you can just say no.

There is no reason your kid cannot get their homework done just because they are playing sports. End of story. Put the responsibility on them to get their work done. If they don't get it done then take away the activities.

Lastly, if you truly feel it is to much for your family then cut back. Your happiness is more important than any sport.
Depending on the age of the child, maybe not EVERY parent needs to stay EVERY time, but DH coached an U8 soccer team last year, and he could not have done it without the help of another parent or 2 at each practice. there were times that parents weren't back to pick up their kids when practice ended. What is he supposed to do then? The coach is there to run practice, not babysit.
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: here
24,477 posts, read 28,782,510 times
Reputation: 31056
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.
IIRC when I was a kid, sports were centered around the school, and thus close to home for most families. Maybe kids even stayed after for practice and the parent didn't need to drive here and there. Where we live now, the leagues don't have anything to do with the schools. I've had to drive across town for practices and games. I think it is too much. But, it is only an 8 week season. Just when I can't stand it anymore, the season is over.

How many kids do you have, and how old are they?
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:01 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,743,871 times
Reputation: 12051
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
Depending on the age of the child, maybe not EVERY parent needs to stay EVERY time, but DH coached an U8 soccer team last year, and he could not have done it without the help of another parent or 2 at each practice. there were times that parents weren't back to pick up their kids when practice ended. What is he supposed to do then? The coach is there to run practice, not babysit.
The coaches ARE there to supervise the kids. My kids have never played on a team where there is one coach. If the parents are not there in time to pick up the kids then the parents are a problem.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:04 PM
 
Location: here
24,477 posts, read 28,782,510 times
Reputation: 31056
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
The coaches ARE there to supervise the kids. My kids have never played on a team where there is one coach. If the parents are not there in time to pick up the kids then the parents are a problem.
well, no one volunteered to be the assistant coach, so DH was on his own. Thankfully there were a couple dads who helped a lot. I just wouldn't go encouraging parents to drop their young kids off at practice. In my experience, those parents are a problem. When they get older, it's different, I'm sure.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:07 PM
 
11,615 posts, read 19,743,871 times
Reputation: 12051
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkb0305 View Post
well, no one volunteered to be the assistant coach, so DH was on his own. Thankfully there were a couple dads who helped a lot. I just wouldn't go encouraging parents to drop their young kids off at practice. In my experience, those parents are a problem. When they get older, it's different, I'm sure.
If there is only one coach I can understand why he would want some help from the other parents.

However, if there are several coaches (my son's football team has 6) I cannot see why parents need to stand around and watch the kids even if they are 6 years old.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:14 AM
 
Location: beautiful NC mountains!
904 posts, read 2,536,893 times
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I think there has to be some kind of balance in life and you have to take clues from the child. I have three children. My oldest two were very into sports, my youngest is just beginning to take an interest at 10. My oldest played a few different local sports when he was younger, never more than one at a time. My middle would have played every sport in every season if I had let her. She was always very active and playing sports helped her settle down. She played travel softball and travel lacrosse. Yes, the rest of us ate dinner at the ballfield plenty of times. At least we were together. My youngest even learned to walk in the dugout with 12 10 year old girls cheering him on. I remember it as an perfect time in our lives when we were all together even if we were at a ballfield.
I think you have to see how your child functions throughout and go with their clues. If the kids are complaining about going to practice, stressed out over games, etc. Then you know you have to make some changes. My kids didn't complain. My daughter loved to go to practice and her brothers didn't complain either, it was our life at the time. When she got older and didn't want to do it anymore, we quit.
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