Advice from you other dads out there

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by BowCommander, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. fletch920

    fletch920 Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Posts:
    8,122
    Likes Received:
    2,157
    Dislikes Received:
    38
    Location:
    iowa
    First off, I made no specific reference to you, but in general about my experiences with some parents that find a high level of importance in getting kids involved in athletics at a very early age. If some of what I said hits close to home, then think about it. If not, don't get so defensive and personal about it. It certainly was not directed specifically at you, unless the shoe fits. Maybe you would do well to read what I said again and not make poor assumptions.

    In my opinion, and more importantly, the professional opinions of many people on this issue, we are starting kids into organized sports at a far too young age. The burnout rate is at an all time high and the participation rate is actually on a fairly steep decline. By your own admission, your daughter will have 4 seasons of soccer to her credit before she is 7 years old! That proves to me, that as a country, we have gone absolutely insane with the importance of athletics. Its has become the standard measure for success in our children. When really, there is so much more to living a well rounded and healthy lifestyle than spending every free moment obsessing about our children's athletic prowess. Work ethic and teamwork is easily taught in the home. Being a productive family member instills many of the same ethics and life-skills that over zealous sports parents use as an excuse for the absolute necessity of youth sports. Some of the best athletes and citizens I know learned how to work on their parents farm and were not allowed to participate in athletics until middle-school due to chores and travel time to and from practices, games, etc.

    Parents as a whole behave horribly at youth sports events. One study puts 80% of comments made by parents at a youth sporting event in the negative category. On the flip side, when the youth were monitored watching the parents play the same sport, their own children provided supporting comments at a rate of nearly 100%. Many of the parents given the opportunity to watch the video of themselves and then their children were brought to tears from the shame they felt. Most parents don't even know they are doing it, because it has become the norm today in our stands. It sucks. I absolutely loath it and have quit volunteering as a coach and official at youth events because of it. Sadly, its a vicious circle because many coaches and officials now are the same rabid sports fanatics that are at the root of the decline.

    So, we disagree. I say that at 5 years old, your daughter did not come up with an idea all on her own to join organized sports. She was "coached" by someone to make that activity important to her. It might not have been you, but some adult put the thought in her mind, or the mind of one of her friends that playing soccer at 5 years old was important. And, its not. Our kids need to be kids and learn by example at home what it means to have some responsibility and what being a good citizen is. That's a parents job at an early age, not a coaches.
     
  2. BowCommander

    BowCommander Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Posts:
    147
    Likes Received:
    17
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I think I read a lot of assumptions in here that could not be farther from the truth. First, I have never "forced" my son to play anything. I said sometimes when he does bad it feels like I'm pushing him into doing something that he's not. EVERY year he is told about activities that are available (karate, football, baseball, basketball, soccer) and he tells me which ones he wants to take part in. He has chosen football and as I specified later in the topic I even sat down one on one with them to ask him his take on it and he told me.

    If you think kids are being forced into playing sports, that's cool, then I would advise you to not push your kid into sports. However, don't assume that everyone is in the same category as the screaming dads at games that feels their kid is "embarrassing them" by not playing up to their personal standards. The only thing I tell my son is if he is going to do something, then take it seriously and try at it.
     

Share This Page