Thursday, March 8, 2007

Innocence lost

Are there any parents out there that have children that just want to play and have fun? My youngest son wanted to play baseball. First of all that term has the word play in it but there isn't much playing or fun involved. He played last year in a recreational league and did have a ball. There were no team rankings or stats, only a bunch of kids having fun and learning about baseball the way I think it was meant to be. This year we tried to get him in the same league but they did away with it. The recreation department said it was because there weren't enough children interested but we heard rumors that some of the "competitive"teams needed players so they did away with the fun league in hopes that some of the kids would join the competitive league.

We decided to go to a different area and sign him up there. The department head said that the league was supposed to be for fun and not that competitive but we found out that wasn't true. This past week, my son's new coach called to say that there would be practice three nights a week from 7 to 930 and the kids needed to be there early. He also had a practice scheduled for two hours every Saturday. I called to talk with him and he started talking about competition and standings and sharpening skills etc etc. After a brief conversation with the coach, we decided to pull my son from the league.

I hear this is the case with many sports these days. The coaches are hoping that one of their team member will be the next baseball or whatever star and their name will go down in history as one of the star's coaches. What ever happened to playing the game for fun? I guess when you started paying players millions of dollars a year to play, the fun went out the door.

It is sad especially when you know that the possibility of them becoming a famous athlete is about one in a million. I know kids, well they are adults now, but their whole childhood they lived with the dream of becoming a great athlete. They did poorly in school but their parents didn't care. They too thought their little child would achieve greatness through sports. Later in life when they failed at sports, they had nothing to fall back on. At least they had great "childhood" memories.....or did they?

I think children should be children. They should play sports for the fun of it and if they happen to excel in it then maybe one day they may do it professionally. It is ok to dream about it but not make it their nimber goal in life.

5 comments:

Annie said...

Those non-competitive (or competitive only against yourself) sports are my favorite ones to participate in. Give me golf, gymnastics or track or even hackysack anyday.

Gardener Greg said...

I love golf myself but I can't say I have ever played hackysack.

Blogarita said...

Another spot-on post, IMO. Most kids these days don't know how to create their own fun; adults are too busy organizing their fun for them. I think most parents have ulterior motives in hoping their kids excel in sports.

I agree with Annie...individual sports are much more appealing to me than team sports. But I've never claimed to be a team player...

Gardener Greg said...

Me either, the one time I played baseball, the coach played favorites and I sat on the bench all year. They would put me in when the game was a total loss or when we were so far ahead that it didn't matter. I would go up to bad totally cold and always strike out. Then the others would laugh at me and make fun of me. What a great way to build self confidence. My father wasn't athletic either so he was no help. I ended up hating sports. Then about 10 years ago, I tried running and found out that I was pretty good at it. It is great therapy too and I love it. Thanks for stopping by.

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