Author Topic: Kids Sports- what is going on  (Read 4705 times)

BubbaBubbenclauseTheThird

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Kids Sports- what is going on
« on: September 06, 2017, 10:09:01 AM »
This seems completely insane. The money and time- all to what end?

http://time.com/4913687/how-kids-sports-became-15-billion-industry/

plog

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2017, 10:17:26 AM »
From the article:

Quote
Like millions of sports parents, the Martinezes hope that Luke's quick bat will lead to a college scholarship.

As usual on this forum, the lesson is people are bad at math and planning.

wordnerd

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 10:45:35 AM »
From the article:

Quote
Like millions of sports parents, the Martinezes hope that Luke's quick bat will lead to a college scholarship.

As usual on this forum, the lesson is people are bad at math and planning.

Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

thesvenster

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 10:52:07 AM »
I think the "college scholarship" bit is just a rationalization. I suspect it has more to do with people fantasizing about living vicariously through their sports star children.

Besides just the money, the overuse injuries kids get from playing one sport as growing young people is terrible. Not to mention how fucking serious the sports have been made, rather than just kids having fun.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 11:49:28 AM »
This is a constant struggle. I think this all stems from the insane scholarship stuff at the NCAA level. The intense sports mindset has trickled down to the lowest levels. I remember when my then 4-year-old started playing soccer. His teammates had been "playing together" for 2 years already and it showed. The hard costs in fees and equipment plus the soft costs of commute times and lack of family dinners is insane for almost all club sports here. Fortunately we have a decent park and rec program here that is a little less intense. (Did I mention my kids are still in elementary school?!?!?) But even at park and rec you still have parents who complain that their kid doesn't play more than the "less talented" kids.


BubbaBubbenclauseTheThird

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2017, 12:08:43 PM »
Quote
I think the "college scholarship" bit is just a rationalization. I suspect it has more to do with people fantasizing about living vicariously through their sports star children.

Not to play psychologist but something is seriously going on here. Like what's missing in the parents' lives that they feel the need to be so overly involved in youth sports. Why do people feel the need to invest so much time and energy in it?
That's the part that's truly baffling and troubling. I think some of these parents may need to get some hobbies, social outlets etc and just let the kids play in more relaxed community leagues, the Y etc.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:11:14 PM by BubbaBubbenclauseTheThird »

Chesleygirl

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 12:21:55 PM »
Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

Do  you mean if the teen worked at a minimum wage job? I don't see "many" teenagers who work anymore at jobs like that. My nephew is 21 and he's never (yet) worked for pay in his life. And no, I'm not saying there are no teens who work. I'm just saying there seem to be fewer than when I was a kid. When I was growing up, lots of teenagers even in the affluent area I lived in, had summer jobs or at least did babysitting.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2017, 12:25:11 PM »
Quote
I think the "college scholarship" bit is just a rationalization. I suspect it has more to do with people fantasizing about living vicariously through their sports star children.

Not to play psychologist but something is seriously going on here. Like what's missing in the parents' lives that they feel the need to be so overly involved in youth sports. Why do people feel the need to invest so much time and energy in it?
That's the part that's truly baffling and troubling. I think some of these parents may need to get some hobbies, social outlets etc and just let the kids play in more relaxed community leagues, the Y etc.

Well, my friends recent experience at their son's soccer game is one example. Adult parent on losing team got angry because they lost, called the other parents "you're a bunch of D-bags!" Right in front of the kids, had a meltdown. Even though everyone gets a trophy anyway.

Not a sport, but my recent experience as a Girl Scout Troop Leader, there were lots of moms causing drama over virtually nothing. I decided I will never be a troop leader again. (Please don't judge, people). I was literally afraid of one of the moms. She had screamed at me at the beginning of the school year and then I googled her name and found out she had a history of threatening people. As well as some other questionable things. Later on in the year, 3 of the moms started keeping their daughters out of the troop meetings because they were mad about something and decided to be passive-aggressive about it. It was a small troop to begin with. We decided to keep going, though, with the few girls who did show up at the meetings and events. And even posted pictures on our the service unit facebook page of how much fun we were having. I see no reason to disband a troop in the middle of the school year, just because of attention-seeking drama junkies who want to try and ruin things for everyone else.

My daughter is in a troop this year, and if we have a schedule conflict with an activity, we don't throw a tantrum about it. We simply choose which activity to do. We don't whine to the troop leaders or the council. We remember that the troop leaders are just volunteers and not paid to do this. We also remember to thank the troop leaders and other volunteers at the end of the year for their hard work.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 12:33:08 PM by Chesleygirl »

thesvenster

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 12:47:17 PM »
Quote
I think the "college scholarship" bit is just a rationalization. I suspect it has more to do with people fantasizing about living vicariously through their sports star children.

Not to play psychologist but something is seriously going on here. Like what's missing in the parents' lives that they feel the need to be so overly involved in youth sports. Why do people feel the need to invest so much time and energy in it?
That's the part that's truly baffling and troubling. I think some of these parents may need to get some hobbies, social outlets etc and just let the kids play in more relaxed community leagues, the Y etc.

Well we do live in a sports obsessed country. Athletes are the "gods" so to speak. And there's also a lot of striving in general to be the best the middle/upper middle class. Not that I believe in mediocrity, but there's an American tendency that everything must be done to the extreme.

I'm sure there's an industrial complex aspect to all this too, between the schools, sports equipment manufacturers, pro teams etc. There's not as much money involved in a more casual approach to sports.

LadyMuMu

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 12:58:36 PM »
I'm active but not particularly sporty--neither is husband--and we STILL struggle. I think part of it is the perception that if your kid doesn't learn to do basic skills now, he or she will NEVER have the ability to play on a team sport ever again. So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real. I have boys so this is about sports but my friends with girls say the same thing about dance.

BubbaBubbenclauseTheThird

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 01:17:17 PM »
Quote
So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real

I empathize and of course you want the best for your kid but this whole system just seems like the snake eating its tale. I think collectively parents need to say enough is enough. I won't hold my breath.

I think back to when I was a kid, two of us got cut from 7th grade soccer (why they couldn't rustle up 2 more shirts and put us as subs is beyond me and a story for a different day.) I don't even think my parents knew I tried out. I wasn't too shook up about it and joined the track team as took everyone that showed up. I think dealing with rejection finding something else to do was probably the best lesson I learned from sports. And didn't cost $1000's in travel expenses.

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2017, 01:35:27 PM »
Quote
So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real

I empathize and of course you want the best for your kid but this whole system just seems like the snake eating its tale. I think collectively parents need to say enough is enough. I won't hold my breath.

I think back to when I was a kid, two of us got cut from 7th grade soccer (why they couldn't rustle up 2 more shirts and put us as subs is beyond me and a story for a different day.) I don't even think my parents knew I tried out. I wasn't too shook up about it and joined the track team as took everyone that showed up. I think dealing with rejection finding something else to do was probably the best lesson I learned from sports. And didn't cost $1000's in travel expenses.

It's hard as a parent to try to keep your own experience out of it, but you can't completely discount it either.

My four-year-old has been in dance class since the beginning of the year (thankfully, we found a low-drama studio), and just asked to start doing soccer. Our community is soccer obsessed, even the rec league is pretty intense (two-three nights a week). We found a non-competitive soccer program for him, so we're going to try that out (once a week for eight weeks). On the one hand, I feel a little bad that he's probably not going to ever be competitive in sports, because I know how it feels to be one of the untalented kids on the team. On the other hand, I don't really see much of this as being healthy or developmentally appropriate.

I can count on one hand the number of times I played on rec teams growing up where the coach wasn't abusive or crazy. Those were awesome years, but it wasn't worth the other years of bullshit.
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wordnerd

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2017, 01:55:27 PM »
Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

Do  you mean if the teen worked at a minimum wage job? I don't see "many" teenagers who work anymore at jobs like that. My nephew is 21 and he's never (yet) worked for pay in his life. And no, I'm not saying there are no teens who work. I'm just saying there seem to be fewer than when I was a kid. When I was growing up, lots of teenagers even in the affluent area I lived in, had summer jobs or at least did babysitting.

Yes, I mean DH as a teen. We both worked minimum wage jobs as teens and aren't that old (36 and 30, respectively). He was janitor at high school age and then worked 2-3 jobs during college to graduate with a positive net worth. I will grant that it isn't exactly normal, but then again, Mustachians (as a sample) suffer from selection bias. :)

LiveLean

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2017, 02:10:46 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.

This isn't producing better athletes. The reason we don't see the traditional three-sport athlete anymore is not because one-sport specialization is necessary, but because kids only know how to train and play in structured environments. I had a friend in high school (I'm 47) who was a year-round club soccer player long before it was as commonplace as today; he went on to play Division 1 soccer. But he found the time to play a lot of basketball and golf on the side, by himself and with buddies, to the point where he made both high school teams (along with soccer, of course). That would never happen today because a parent would be not be able to schedule a child in those three sports -- there are no self-taught athletes anymore.

I have a year-round competitive swimming son - he's 14 - and I've watched many of his older club teammates go to every desired school in the USA - Stanford, Duke, Virginia, Michigan and the entire Ivy League. I don't care if he swims in college or not -- it's the most brutal college sport out there -- but what I do know is that if nothing else it provides him the structure and discipline kids need today since they don't know what to do with unstructured time other than stare at screens.
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Chesleygirl

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2017, 02:43:18 PM »
Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

Do  you mean if the teen worked at a minimum wage job? I don't see "many" teenagers who work anymore at jobs like that. My nephew is 21 and he's never (yet) worked for pay in his life. And no, I'm not saying there are no teens who work. I'm just saying there seem to be fewer than when I was a kid. When I was growing up, lots of teenagers even in the affluent area I lived in, had summer jobs or at least did babysitting.

Yes, I mean DH as a teen. We both worked minimum wage jobs as teens and aren't that old (36 and 30, respectively). He was janitor at high school age and then worked 2-3 jobs during college to graduate with a positive net worth. I will grant that it isn't exactly normal, but then again, Mustachians (as a sample) suffer from selection bias. :)

That's great. I don't know when the trend started, but I know lots of high school and college-aged people who  have never worked for pay. I guess their parents support them. I don't know how they get by. I can't financially support my kids past age 18, with the exception of paying their college tuition, but they would need to earn their own money to live on.

M family member in college, never worked, and always going on trips, spring break, weekend getaways, mission trips in foreign countries; for which he asks people to sponsor him, earning none of the money himself for the mission trips. I've refused to pitch in because I'm not going to enable this kind of mentality. He looks down on people his age who work during the summer or have campus jobs and thinks he's so much more enlightened than they are because he traveled to all these places (on someone else's dime).

mm1970

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2017, 02:45:24 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.

This isn't producing better athletes. The reason we don't see the traditional three-sport athlete anymore is not because one-sport specialization is necessary, but because kids only know how to train and play in structured environments. I had a friend in high school (I'm 47) who was a year-round club soccer player long before it was as commonplace as today; he went on to play Division 1 soccer. But he found the time to play a lot of basketball and golf on the side, by himself and with buddies, to the point where he made both high school teams (along with soccer, of course). That would never happen today because a parent would be not be able to schedule a child in those three sports -- there are no self-taught athletes anymore.

I have a year-round competitive swimming son - he's 14 - and I've watched many of his older club teammates go to every desired school in the USA - Stanford, Duke, Virginia, Michigan and the entire Ivy League. I don't care if he swims in college or not -- it's the most brutal college sport out there -- but what I do know is that if nothing else it provides him the structure and discipline kids need today since they don't know what to do with unstructured time other than stare at screens.

There's a lot of truth here. I'm also 47 (but I can't dribble and walk at the same time.)  My son plays baseball.  He started at 9.  Tried soccer at the school (our elementary school actually has a few sports to try out, which is nice.)  Several of his teammates are 2 or 3 sport athletes. I don't know how (or why) they do it.  They play fall baseball (or league if they are good enough), and basketball and soccer.  Sometimes football.  X2 for 2 kids in a family and I just don't get it.

We love baseball but the schedule is too much.  I am SOOO glad that he started at 9 and not 5.  Seriously, he's not good enough for the traveling teams and it's GLORIOUS.

I think the loss of unstructured play, in my narrow parenting experience, is work.  My mom didn't work until I was well old enough to be at home with my younger brother.  So we had unstructured play (mostly frisbee and kick ball) in the backyard all summer.  I have a FT job.  My kids are at school until 5 pm.  They have mostly structured play in the after school hours.  Some unstructured.

Goldielocks

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2017, 02:54:48 PM »
I'm active but not particularly sporty--neither is husband--and we STILL struggle. I think part of it is the perception that if your kid doesn't learn to do basic skills now, he or she will NEVER have the ability to play on a team sport ever again. So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real. I have boys so this is about sports but my friends with girls say the same thing about dance.

There is definitely this.... but one reason is that today, there is only ONE Jr. High / high School team at each grade level.   And they only take a first and second string because the bus, uniforms, cost money, and getting coaches is difficult.   Having one grade 9 basketball team, with only 9-11 players on it, out of a class size of 200?!   It sucks for kids that did not get the extra, and that is a true shame.    Kids are lucky if there are lunchtime intramural teams, and those just tend to be floor hockey and dodgeball, here.

I remember being able to play on cheap community rec teams, or the "B" team in junior high.  Heck our grade 8 volleyball team had 31 players on it to give all a chance.   That just doesn't happen any more.

Kimera757

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 05:34:28 PM »
Canadian parents of hockey kids have huge expenses. As high as $53,000 in 2015 - link: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/12/15/the-cost-of-hockey-buying-into-the-dream - but the average is surely quite a bit less.

Quote
Raising the next great hockey star comes with a heavy price tag, as the average hockey parent spent nearly $10-15,000 if their child was on a AAA team

Link: http://nationalpost.com/sports/hockey/nhl/selling-the-dream-raising-the-next-great-hockey-star-comes-with-a-heavy-price-tag

This is a constant struggle. I think this all stems from the insane scholarship stuff at the NCAA level. The intense sports mindset has trickled down to the lowest levels. I remember when my then 4-year-old started playing soccer. His teammates had been "playing together" for 2 years already and it showed. The hard costs in fees and equipment plus the soft costs of commute times and lack of family dinners is insane for almost all club sports here. Fortunately we have a decent park and rec program here that is a little less intense. (Did I mention my kids are still in elementary school?!?!?) But even at park and rec you still have parents who complain that their kid doesn't play more than the "less talented" kids.

They started playing at two years old? Yikes! I'm pretty sure kids that age are literally toddlers.

dogboyslim

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2017, 08:50:48 AM »
From the article:

Quote
Like millions of sports parents, the Martinezes hope that Luke's quick bat will lead to a college scholarship.

As usual on this forum, the lesson is people are bad at math and planning.

Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

My kids swim.  One of the other swim parents switched teams to a very competitive team that has a ton of pool time and travel meets and costs a small fortune.  I was talking with him and he said he hopes his kid gets a college scholarship so that he might get close to break-even with all these expenses but he doubts that it would work unless its a school like Stanford.  He did it because his son loves to swim and compete.  His son is really good.  Parents will often do things for kids that are not the best financial investment.  He works as a financial analyst in a local mega-bank and many of his accountabilities are related to project planning.  Its not that he can't plan or understand finances, he's choosing to spend money on something for his kid, knowing it may not pay off financially.  We should be careful not to brand all of these parents as foolish without knowing why they do what they do.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 08:53:45 AM by dogboyslim »

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2017, 09:04:33 AM »
I see this over and over with co-worker's kids.  It's a big fish in a little pond problem.  Yes, your 11 YO son is the greatest hockey player in a town of 20,000 people but that doesn't mean crap when he starts competing with kids across the country for D1 scholarships.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 05:21:22 PM by Debts_of_Despair »

Dave1442397

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2017, 09:15:27 AM »
Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.

That's one thing I love about our street. It's a dead end, and the kids have a basketball net at the curb. They use it in the mornings to play a game they made up (I have no idea what the rules are) before the school bus comes. They also play their own version of baseball in the court outside our house, which can keep them busy for hours.

They also spent a lot of time this year on bikes, skateboards, and going to the pool. We had no structured activities, and my daughter loved it.

The three kids next door are involved in swim team, hockey and baseball when those sports are in season. I see them all piling into cars early on weekend mornings and disappearing for most of the day. That's not my idea of fun.

My daughter is into Tae Kwon Do, and has gone to a few competitions, but we don't force her to go, and we've turned some of them down because of costs involved. The good thing about it is the flexible schedule - she can go to classes almost any day of the week. She can also start making money as an instructor once she turns 14.

Laura33

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2017, 10:10:37 AM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Yep.  I have always been of the "opt out of the race" variety, partly because I'm lazy, and partly because with two jobs + two kids the idea of signing up for the stress/demands of travel teams sounded like a version of hell.  But I do sometimes wonder if that was the right choice for my kids.

Ex. 1:  DD is a fairly decent natural softball player (strong right arm runs in my family) and took to playing catcher pretty well in rec ball -- then started her growth spurt and put on a ton of weight and developed from a stick figure into someone who actually *looked* like a catcher.  And when she makes contact, damn (I took to calling her "Thor").  But of course she is raw and screws up and misses more than she hits.  Freshman year, she was the classic "project" kid -- she made the JV team, improved a fair bit, then got injured and sat.  Sophomore year, the first crew of travel team girls reached HS age (the local team didn't start until a few years ago).  Suddenly, many sophomores and juniors got cut; DD made it, but was clearly the last kid kept and rode the pine all year, except for a few pity innings in RF.  Halfway through the season, she had already decided she wasn't going to even try out next year (recognizing that she'd never make the team).  So would she have been better off if I had gotten her coaches and regular time in the batting cage, driven to the next county over for the travel team options, etc.?  IDK -- it's not like her future was in softball, but she had fun.

Ex. 2:  DS.  The boy has a freaking gun and really excellent hand-eye coordination.  He just started playing rec baseball, and at 10 was one of two kids on his team who could make the throw from third to first (and make it look effortless).  But this year he moved up an age bracket, and his team was populated with travel kids; the coach was very competitive (his son was the star of the team), and as the youngest and one of the least-experienced, DS didn't perform awesomely out of the gate and thus got largely ignored for the rest of the season. 

So, now, thanks to my experience with DD, I'm wondering if I should get him some extra coaching -- all the "good" kids on his team are doing travel ball and coaching, etc., so if he wants to play in HS, I need to get him that extra training now to give him even a chance to make the JV team (assuming it's not already too late).  Again, not that he had a future in the major leagues (or would want one -- the boy wants to make robots).  But I hate the idea of my kid getting shut out of playing any kind of sport he enjoys in HS, just because the other kids' parents tried harder.

I'm still not planning to do it, because DS isn't really pushing for it.  But if he adored baseball, I am pretty sure we'd have found the time and money for extra coaching, just to give him a chance to compete.

All of which could be solved if we just had some alterative rec/club leagues for HS-age kids!
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GuitarStv

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2017, 11:11:27 AM »
Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.

I don't think that this is universally true.  Every evening, all summer long in my neighbourhood you'll find kids running around playing soccer, basketball, or riding their bikes together.  It's usually unsupervised from what I can see.

mm1970

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 01:09:00 PM »
Quote
Ex. 2:  DS.  The boy has a freaking gun and really excellent hand-eye coordination.  He just started playing rec baseball, and at 10 was one of two kids on his team who could make the throw from third to first (and make it look effortless).  But this year he moved up an age bracket, and his team was populated with travel kids; the coach was very competitive (his son was the star of the team), and as the youngest and one of the least-experienced, DS didn't perform awesomely out of the gate and thus got largely ignored for the rest of the season. 

So, now, thanks to my experience with DD, I'm wondering if I should get him some extra coaching -- all the "good" kids on his team are doing travel ball and coaching, etc., so if he wants to play in HS, I need to get him that extra training now to give him even a chance to make the JV team (assuming it's not already too late).  Again, not that he had a future in the major leagues (or would want one -- the boy wants to make robots).  But I hate the idea of my kid getting shut out of playing any kind of sport he enjoys in HS, just because the other kids' parents tried harder.

I'm still not planning to do it, because DS isn't really pushing for it.  But if he adored baseball, I am pretty sure we'd have found the time and money for extra coaching, just to give him a chance to compete.

Really good info in here too.  I can relate.  My son isn't awesome at baseball (generally starts at the bottom of the batting order and moves up to 3rd to last).  But, many kids on his team do travel ball and coaching.  Our league is a bit different sometimes, and nicer I think.  There are strict rules about how many times you sit out and where you play.  Everyone plays at least one inning infield and outfield.  You can't sit out the same player in 2 innings until everyone else has sat out an inning.

But yeah, there's no high school club thing going on.  Our rec leagues go till age 14.  Luckily, he likes baseball, but I don't think he'll care. Maybe he'll pick up volleyball.  He's short, so that's not helpful, but we live in So Cal.  Always pickup games.  His other interests are music (flute) and math/engineering/programming.  Considering we are engineers, I'm not counting on a sports scholarship for my kids.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 01:22:43 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.


Not sure what kind of neighborhood you live in but all of this exist for me as a millenial growing up and every nice day on my way home driving thru my neighborhood there are groups of kids play baseball on common ground or riding bikes around the neighborhood or shooting hoops in a driveway. 

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 08:12:26 AM »
I feel the "organized" part of sports has gotten way out of hand. It's like every second has to be scheduled and accounted for. I have a friend who has two kids, they mostly do swimming. He literally doesn't have a day off during the week from driving them around. 3 out of 4 Saturdays are taken up with meets. Are these kids extraordinary athletes who are going to get swimming scholarships to college? Not even close, below average, even in their current peer group. One of them doesn't really even want to do swimming anymore, but the parents know that if they let him drop it he will sit around the house all day and play video games. It's a conundrum.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 08:33:53 AM by jfolsen »

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 08:30:35 AM »
Devil's advocate here -

- Studies show high school athletes do better in school and stay out of trouble more

- I get the feeling that some of you don't personally enjoy sports and that's carrying over to youth sports

- I swear my son's 3rd word out of mouth after mom & dad was "ball". He loved playing sports from a very early age.

- After hours and hours of catch in the back yard and practice together he became pretty good at baseball. My DW and I had far more good that bad times watching him play hundreds of baseball games over the years.

- I have no regrets about being the parent of an athlete - the time and money investment provided many benefits to him and us.

- His love of baseball carried over past high school where he has played competitive baseball & softball now into his mid-20's

My DD on the other hand played sports for a couple years in elementary school. It wasn't her thing and that was fine too.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 08:46:14 AM »
Devil's advocate here -

- Studies show high school athletes do better in school and stay out of trouble more

Devil's advocate here . . . do those studies take into account the fact that high school athletes are often graded and disciplined to a different standard than other students?  :P

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2017, 09:36:48 AM »
My kids play a sport almost year round.  We do it for the exercise factor.  I've struggled with my weight for most of my adulthood and firmly believe that daily exercise is important to health.  So I've spent a lot of time and years trying to teach this to my kids and find sports that they enjoy, so the exercise is fun.  As a side note, we spend a lot of time walking and hiking as a family, but the sports lets them be social with their friends at the same time, total win.

It costs 200-300, 3 times a year.  With a pool membership for the summer, the total is about a grand.  We are fortunate enough to live where organized, but less competitive sports are easily available, maybe partly because my kids are still youngish, at 10.

When they were younger, I focused a lot on swimming, thinking that was a sport/exercise they could do on their own, almost anywhere in the world.  It turned out they didn't particularly like swimming, so we've moved on to other sports, the current is volleyball, which they are not great at, but totally enjoy. 

We'll be playing something for as long as we can.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 10:46:48 AM »
From the article:

Quote
Like millions of sports parents, the Martinezes hope that Luke's quick bat will lead to a college scholarship.

As usual on this forum, the lesson is people are bad at math and planning.

Yep. DH was a competitive swimmer in his youth. His parents wanted him to get a scholarship to [local state school]. He calculated that if he spent the same number of hours working minimum wage rather than at swimming practices and meets, he would make more than a college scholarship. And, that ignores the cost of actually participating in the sport (especially travel teams).

My kids swim.  One of the other swim parents switched teams to a very competitive team that has a ton of pool time and travel meets and costs a small fortune.  I was talking with him and he said he hopes his kid gets a college scholarship so that he might get close to break-even with all these expenses but he doubts that it would work unless its a school like Stanford.  He did it because his son loves to swim and compete.  His son is really good.  Parents will often do things for kids that are not the best financial investment.  He works as a financial analyst in a local mega-bank and many of his accountabilities are related to project planning.  Its not that he can't plan or understand finances, he's choosing to spend money on something for his kid, knowing it may not pay off financially.  We should be careful not to brand all of these parents as foolish without knowing why they do what they do.

When my oldest was younger and loved to swim she was also on the local swim team.  The thing for her she loved to swim but hated to compete.  At age 6 she would wake me up on the weekends so I could take her to swim laps.  She loved it.  She loved the swim practices even though it was 3 times a week 2 hours each time but HATED the actual competition meets.  The coaches didn't mind until she got to middle school.  At that point she had to make a decision, either attend the practices AND the meets or quit the team.  She ended up quitting, which I fully supported.  She is the type where she is a hard worker and puts forth the effort for herself but does not have a competitive bone in her body.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 11:23:16 AM »
I'm active but not particularly sporty--neither is husband--and we STILL struggle. I think part of it is the perception that if your kid doesn't learn to do basic skills now, he or she will NEVER have the ability to play on a team sport ever again. So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real. I have boys so this is about sports but my friends with girls say the same thing about dance.

There is definitely this.... but one reason is that today, there is only ONE Jr. High / high School team at each grade level.   And they only take a first and second string because the bus, uniforms, cost money, and getting coaches is difficult.   Having one grade 9 basketball team, with only 9-11 players on it, out of a class size of 200?!   It sucks for kids that did not get the extra, and that is a true shame.    Kids are lucky if there are lunchtime intramural teams, and those just tend to be floor hockey and dodgeball, here.

I remember being able to play on cheap community rec teams, or the "B" team in junior high.  Heck our grade 8 volleyball team had 31 players on it to give all a chance.   That just doesn't happen any more.

It's so tough. I avoided many organized sports for my kids and refused to shell out big bucks for it. My son was on a travel soccer team from 9 -13, mostly because it wasn't too expensive and they practiced a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, turns out that while my kid loves sports of all kinds and is naturally good at most sports he tries...he doesn't truly excel at any. Still, in grade school, he was able to make it on all the sports teams and had lots of fun.

Grade 9 was a horrible disappointment for him and now that he is entering Grade 10, he is still struggling to figure out how to deal with it. He tried out for pretty much every team - volleyball, tennis, badminton, soccer, basketball, etc etc. Was a "pity" sub in tennis. He was technically on the badminton team - he went for all practices and they asked him to pay $15 for his team shirt. Shortly after, he was told he did not make it to the team that actually played ANY games (My DH was raging mad about the shirt. My DH was insisting my poor DS "return" the useless shirt - I did step in and put a stop to that but I am still bitter about it too). This means that the only sports kids like him get to play is at gym class for one semester of the whole school year.

His personal identity has shifted. He used to call himself an athlete and loved sports of all kinds. Now, he's not sure what he is good at anymore. I'm now trying to find non-organized sports for him to have fun with. We play badminton and tennis as a family. And I'm trying to get him interested in long distance cycling with me. I'd like him to develop a lifelong love for physical activities and just have fun with it. Unfortunately, he is 14 and equates sports with organized sports and doesn't see much point in just playing for fun *sigh*

it sucks that kids need to be at the top level to participate in high school level sports these days. This is the time they should get to try out different things and find out what they enjoy doing. Instead, now it seems you better figure that out by grade school and perfect it before high school.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 11:30:31 AM by elaine amj »
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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 12:33:41 PM »
I'm active but not particularly sporty--neither is husband--and we STILL struggle. I think part of it is the perception that if your kid doesn't learn to do basic skills now, he or she will NEVER have the ability to play on a team sport ever again. So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real. I have boys so this is about sports but my friends with girls say the same thing about dance.

There is definitely this.... but one reason is that today, there is only ONE Jr. High / high School team at each grade level.   And they only take a first and second string because the bus, uniforms, cost money, and getting coaches is difficult.   Having one grade 9 basketball team, with only 9-11 players on it, out of a class size of 200?!   It sucks for kids that did not get the extra, and that is a true shame.    Kids are lucky if there are lunchtime intramural teams, and those just tend to be floor hockey and dodgeball, here.

I remember being able to play on cheap community rec teams, or the "B" team in junior high.  Heck our grade 8 volleyball team had 31 players on it to give all a chance.   That just doesn't happen any more.

It's so tough. I avoided many organized sports for my kids and refused to shell out big bucks for it. My son was on a travel soccer team from 9 -13, mostly because it wasn't too expensive and they practiced a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, turns out that while my kid loves sports of all kinds and is naturally good at most sports he tries...he doesn't truly excel at any. Still, in grade school, he was able to make it on all the sports teams and had lots of fun.

Grade 9 was a horrible disappointment for him and now that he is entering Grade 10, he is still struggling to figure out how to deal with it. He tried out for pretty much every team - volleyball, tennis, badminton, soccer, basketball, etc etc. Was a "pity" sub in tennis. He was technically on the badminton team - he went for all practices and they asked him to pay $15 for his team shirt. Shortly after, he was told he did not make it to the team that actually played ANY games (My DH was raging mad about the shirt. My DH was insisting my poor DS "return" the useless shirt - I did step in and put a stop to that but I am still bitter about it too). This means that the only sports kids like him get to play is at gym class for one semester of the whole school year.

His personal identity has shifted. He used to call himself an athlete and loved sports of all kinds. Now, he's not sure what he is good at anymore. I'm now trying to find non-organized sports for him to have fun with. We play badminton and tennis as a family. And I'm trying to get him interested in long distance cycling with me. I'd like him to develop a lifelong love for physical activities and just have fun with it. Unfortunately, he is 14 and equates sports with organized sports and doesn't see much point in just playing for fun *sigh*

it sucks that kids need to be at the top level to participate in high school level sports these days. This is the time they should get to try out different things and find out what they enjoy doing. Instead, now it seems you better figure that out by grade school and perfect it before high school.

Get that kid into martial arts, as soon as practical. It's an inclusive environment where everyone gets to participate regardless of skill level. Competition is optional, and people progress at their own pace. If he chooses to compete he will be matched against others of approximately the same age and skill level. Starting "late" isn't an automatic disqualifying factor and there are world-class athletes who don't get involved until high school. Boys and girls also train together and there's an atmosphere of mutual respect that is enforced physically.

All these attributes, together, make martial arts completely unsuitable for public schools, universities, and other parts of the athletics industrial complex. In academic sport, elitism, win-at-all-costs competition, gender segregation, and rejection of late bloomers or less "gifted" athletes are all considered normal and proper.
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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2017, 12:35:07 PM »
Devil's advocate here -

- Studies show high school athletes do better in school and stay out of trouble more


I'll put my high school marching band up against the athletes any day ;-)
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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2017, 12:47:23 PM »
Devil's advocate here -

- Studies show high school athletes do better in school and stay out of trouble more

- I get the feeling that some of you don't personally enjoy sports and that's carrying over to youth sports

- I swear my son's 3rd word out of mouth after mom & dad was "ball". He loved playing sports from a very early age.

- After hours and hours of catch in the back yard and practice together he became pretty good at baseball. My DW and I had far more good that bad times watching him play hundreds of baseball games over the years.

- I have no regrets about being the parent of an athlete - the time and money investment provided many benefits to him and us.

- His love of baseball carried over past high school where he has played competitive baseball & softball now into his mid-20's

My DD on the other hand played sports for a couple years in elementary school. It wasn't her thing and that was fine too.

I don't get the sense that people on this thread, in general, are anti-sports. Appears that people are simply trying to navigate the insanity that kids sports has become. If your son is now in his mid-20's then might I suggest that things have changed since he was a kid. Read the article, the personal stories within are sad and dysfunctional - the hyper glorification of kids sports IS harming kids physically and emotionally.

I see this already with my young kids. They are interested in ballet, but all the dance studios want year-long commitments, and fees, fees, and more fees. Pretty clear that they are only interested making little proteges, which is where the real money is because you can milk it for an entire childhood. Nope, not going to do, FU dance studios. We'll find something else where the kids can be kids and do sports for fun. If that means they miss out on HS sports or whatever, so be it.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2017, 01:07:44 PM »

Get that kid into martial arts, as soon as practical. It's an inclusive environment where everyone gets to participate regardless of skill level. Competition is optional, and people progress at their own pace. If he chooses to compete he will be matched against others of approximately the same age and skill level. Starting "late" isn't an automatic disqualifying factor and there are world-class athletes who don't get involved until high school. Boys and girls also train together and there's an atmosphere of mutual respect that is enforced physically.

All these attributes, together, make martial arts completely unsuitable for public schools, universities, and other parts of the athletics industrial complex. In academic sport, elitism, win-at-all-costs competition, gender segregation, and rejection of late bloomers or less "gifted" athletes are all considered normal and proper.

Completely agree! I belong to a martial arts gym and am studying Muay Thai and BJJ. I'm taking Muay Thai more seriously because I want to fight next year (just got permission to start timing sparring) but yeah until you get to a certain point it is kinda like Fight Club in that you "pick your own level of involvement." For BJJ, right now I have zero desire to compete with it but that could change once I become more experienced. I'd say at least half the people doing Muay Thai are dabblers, some of them will stick around and some won't. I like this.

I HATED high school sports. I'm not the most athletic person, in fact I was chubby much of my life, and felt like the coaches took everything way too seriously. If I was on varsity I could understand their intensity but not for the lower level and as a result I just didn't enjoy it. Martial arts is a way better fit for me.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2017, 02:03:58 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.


Not sure what kind of neighborhood you live in but all of this exist for me as a millenial growing up and every nice day on my way home driving thru my neighborhood there are groups of kids play baseball on common ground or riding bikes around the neighborhood or shooting hoops in a driveway. 

BACK in MY DAY THINGS were BETTER !!!!! GRRRRR

I walk nearly 20 miles a day through neighborhoods. I walk at night and in the afternoons and on weekdays and weekends. I have a weird work schedule. I have lived in the midwest, the south, the west and the northeast. I almost NEVER see kids outside playing sports or anyone outside doing anything unless it's 1) yard work or 2) they are getting in their clown car to go somewhere. There are rare exceptions but they are rare and my observations are not anectdotal. So there is something to this. In the 90s when I was a teen and young adult kids were everywhere. I was a runner back then. Times have changed. People are inside on their computers/laptops/gaming systems and/or mobile devices. Not by coincidence, we have serious obeisity problems now in this country.  This is not a generational rant by any means.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2017, 02:07:19 PM »
there a lot of "getting of my lawn"ing in this thread.

There will always be parents that take anything to an extreme, be it sports, academics, music etc...

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2017, 02:24:34 PM »
Get that kid into martial arts, as soon as practical. It's an inclusive environment where everyone gets to participate regardless of skill level. Competition is optional, and people progress at their own pace. If he chooses to compete he will be matched against others of approximately the same age and skill level. Starting "late" isn't an automatic disqualifying factor and there are world-class athletes who don't get involved until high school. Boys and girls also train together and there's an atmosphere of mutual respect that is enforced physically.

All these attributes, together, make martial arts completely unsuitable for public schools, universities, and other parts of the athletics industrial complex. In academic sport, elitism, win-at-all-costs competition, gender segregation, and rejection of late bloomers or less "gifted" athletes are all considered normal and proper.

Hmm...will discuss this with DH. It might be a good idea although I hate the thought of doing something that will always cost money. That said, we're working on helping DS wean off his computer. He was completely hooked to Minecraft last year and it seriously affected his schoolwork and social life. He's trying really, really hard this year and is making a ton of effort to spend a bit more time with his friends and put more effort into schoolwork. But of course, reducing computer time has left a bit of a hole in his daily life.

Will have to see if there is a studio within walking/biking distance from our house. Any thoughts on what to look for? I'm clueless other than what I've seen on TV :)
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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2017, 03:02:38 PM »
Get that kid into martial arts, as soon as practical. It's an inclusive environment where everyone gets to participate regardless of skill level. Competition is optional, and people progress at their own pace. If he chooses to compete he will be matched against others of approximately the same age and skill level. Starting "late" isn't an automatic disqualifying factor and there are world-class athletes who don't get involved until high school. Boys and girls also train together and there's an atmosphere of mutual respect that is enforced physically.

All these attributes, together, make martial arts completely unsuitable for public schools, universities, and other parts of the athletics industrial complex. In academic sport, elitism, win-at-all-costs competition, gender segregation, and rejection of late bloomers or less "gifted" athletes are all considered normal and proper.

Hmm...will discuss this with DH. It might be a good idea although I hate the thought of doing something that will always cost money. That said, we're working on helping DS wean off his computer. He was completely hooked to Minecraft last year and it seriously affected his schoolwork and social life. He's trying really, really hard this year and is making a ton of effort to spend a bit more time with his friends and put more effort into schoolwork. But of course, reducing computer time has left a bit of a hole in his daily life.

Will have to see if there is a studio within walking/biking distance from our house. Any thoughts on what to look for? I'm clueless other than what I've seen on TV :)

Judo programs and most boxing gyms tend to be more reasonably priced.  Honestly, the quality of a martial arts program lives and dies by the instructor.  Fortunately most good places will let you sit in on a couple classes for free to see if it's something you're interested in.

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2017, 04:15:26 PM »
I feel the "organized" part of sports has gotten way out of hand. It's like every second has to be scheduled and accounted for. I have a friend who has two kids, they mostly do swimming. He literally doesn't have a day off during the week from driving them around. 3 out of 4 Saturdays are taken up with meets. Are these kids extraordinary athletes who are going to get swimming scholarships to college? Not even close, below average, even in their current peer group. One of them doesn't really even want to do swimming anymore, but the parents know that if they let him drop it he will sit around the house all day and play video games. It's a conundrum.

I didn't grow up in swimming but my 14-year-old high school freshman has been a competitive swimmer since 6. It really belongs in another category. When I hear travel soccer/baseball folks bemoaning their life, I point out that when they watch a 2-hour baseball/soccer game, they're probably watching their kid play for two hours. Swim parents will spend 8 hours at the pool -- often two or three days in a row, prelims and finals - and see their kid swim for about 10 minutes -- perhaps 20-30 if they do distance events.

When competitive swimmers reach 13-14, they typically practice 9x a week. Monday-Saturday, twice on two weekdays and Saturdays. My guy practices Tues/Thurs mornings from 4:45 to 6:15 AM before school. It's the one sport the kid can't be forced to do; it's too brutal. We all grew up with the tall kid forced to play basketball/volleyball because parents felt they should or the kid playing baseball/tennis because it was one parent's childhood sport. But swimming is brutal and boring. Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps's coach, has also been involved in horse racing and he's often remarked that they couldn't train horses like swimmers because it would kill the horses.

Here in Florida, where school is canceled and we're on hurricane prep alert, we still had practice from 7 to 9:30 this morning. And there was 100 percent attendance.

My younger son, 12, quit swimming last year. Not his thing. But he also has Boy Scouts and basketball. I've seen other kids come through our swim club and burn out. But I've also seen a parade of very well-adjusted, high-achieving kids come through our club and go to every top college in the USA, in large part because of the discipline and time management required of swimming. I look back to my baseball/basketball/track life in 1980s high school....modest athletic training compared to what these kids do.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2017, 04:17:11 PM by LiveLean »
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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2017, 04:33:20 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.


Not sure what kind of neighborhood you live in but all of this exist for me as a millenial growing up and every nice day on my way home driving thru my neighborhood there are groups of kids play baseball on common ground or riding bikes around the neighborhood or shooting hoops in a driveway. 

BACK in MY DAY THINGS were BETTER !!!!! GRRRRR

I walk nearly 20 miles a day through neighborhoods. I walk at night and in the afternoons and on weekdays and weekends. I have a weird work schedule. I have lived in the midwest, the south, the west and the northeast. I almost NEVER see kids outside playing sports or anyone outside doing anything unless it's 1) yard work or 2) they are getting in their clown car to go somewhere. There are rare exceptions but they are rare and my observations are not anectdotal. So there is something to this. In the 90s when I was a teen and young adult kids were everywhere. I was a runner back then. Times have changed. People are inside on their computers/laptops/gaming systems and/or mobile devices. Not by coincidence, we have serious obeisity problems now in this country.  This is not a generational rant by any means.

You either live in a shitty neighborhood or this is generational get off my lawn crap. On my way home from work today in my .25 mile drive in my neighborhood I saw over 10 kids out riding bikes and playing baseball. The neighbors 2 doors down have 7 kids playing soccer in their backyard right now.
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elaine amj

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2017, 04:52:38 PM »
Get that kid into martial arts, as soon as practical. It's an inclusive environment where everyone gets to participate regardless of skill level. Competition is optional, and people progress at their own pace. If he chooses to compete he will be matched against others of approximately the same age and skill level. Starting "late" isn't an automatic disqualifying factor and there are world-class athletes who don't get involved until high school. Boys and girls also train together and there's an atmosphere of mutual respect that is enforced physically.

All these attributes, together, make martial arts completely unsuitable for public schools, universities, and other parts of the athletics industrial complex. In academic sport, elitism, win-at-all-costs competition, gender segregation, and rejection of late bloomers or less "gifted" athletes are all considered normal and proper.

Hmm...will discuss this with DH. It might be a good idea although I hate the thought of doing something that will always cost money. That said, we're working on helping DS wean off his computer. He was completely hooked to Minecraft last year and it seriously affected his schoolwork and social life. He's trying really, really hard this year and is making a ton of effort to spend a bit more time with his friends and put more effort into schoolwork. But of course, reducing computer time has left a bit of a hole in his daily life.

Will have to see if there is a studio within walking/biking distance from our house. Any thoughts on what to look for? I'm clueless other than what I've seen on TV :)

Judo programs and most boxing gyms tend to be more reasonably priced.  Honestly, the quality of a martial arts program lives and dies by the instructor.  Fortunately most good places will let you sit in on a couple classes for free to see if it's something you're interested in.
Well...just talked to my DS and he said a flat out no to martial arts. Just not interested.

He is pretty interested in the adventure race I do every year so I am going to ask him to train with me. We'll see - since normally he is not interested in cycling, hiking or canoeing. And we spend about 8 hours doing all 3 during this race.

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Werthless

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2017, 06:55:21 PM »
The problem is not organized sports but a lack of disorganized sports.

Most men of my generation (Generation X) can play a passable game of basketball. That's because whether you ever played organized basketball or not, you no doubt played a lot of it in gym class, recess and especially at your buddies' homes since hoops was the default sport to play in someone's backyard or driveway.

Today there's no such thing as unstructured play. When was the last time you drove through a neighborhood and saw a group of kids playing basketball, throwing a baseball, football, anything? Maybe 1993 or so? That's because kids no longer play unless it's supervised by adults.


Not sure what kind of neighborhood you live in but all of this exist for me as a millenial growing up and every nice day on my way home driving thru my neighborhood there are groups of kids play baseball on common ground or riding bikes around the neighborhood or shooting hoops in a driveway. 

BACK in MY DAY THINGS were BETTER !!!!! GRRRRR

I walk nearly 20 miles a day through neighborhoods. I walk at night and in the afternoons and on weekdays and weekends. I have a weird work schedule. I have lived in the midwest, the south, the west and the northeast. I almost NEVER see kids outside playing sports or anyone outside doing anything unless it's 1) yard work or 2) they are getting in their clown car to go somewhere. There are rare exceptions but they are rare and my observations are not anectdotal. So there is something to this. In the 90s when I was a teen and young adult kids were everywhere. I was a runner back then. Times have changed. People are inside on their computers/laptops/gaming systems and/or mobile devices. Not by coincidence, we have serious obeisity problems now in this country.  This is not a generational rant by any means.

You either live in a shitty neighborhood or this is generational get off my lawn crap. On my way home from work today in my .25 mile drive in my neighborhood I saw over 10 kids out riding bikes and playing baseball. The neighbors 2 doors down have 7 kids playing soccer in their backyard right now.
Perhaps you live in a great neighborhood? Probably not worth getting upset about someone else's local experiences. Based on studies about youths, your experience is atypical.

MrsPete

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2017, 07:34:21 PM »
As usual on this forum, the lesson is people are bad at math and planning.
Part of it is that kids (and their parents) fail to grasp the big picture:  Somehow kids (and their parents) think, "I am definitely one of the best three baseball players in my high school.  I've played Varsity since sophomore year, and as a senior I've been a captain.  I am really good!  I should absolutely get a scholarship."  They fail to realize that -- yeah -- the kid may be one of the three best baseball players at that particular high school ... but that probably equates to being one of the best 15 players in the county ... and one of the best 150 in the state ... and all of those 150 are hoping to win a scholarship. 

It's kind of like Senior Superlatives, in which seniors fantasize about who in their graduating class will one day be president, will be the next Beyonce or the next Steve Jobs ... through magical immature thinking they seem to think that the whole world of "movers and shakers" will be populated by kids from their high school ... so, of course the best athletes on their home team are going to snatch up all the full ride scholarships! 

Not to play psychologist but something is seriously going on here. Like what's missing in the parents' lives that they feel the need to be so overly involved in youth sports. Why do people feel the need to invest so much time and energy in it?
That's the part that's truly baffling and troubling. I think some of these parents may need to get some hobbies, social outlets etc and just let the kids play in more relaxed community leagues, the Y etc.
I think it's two things:  1) We have so much media today, and sports have become popular in a way that just wasn't possible in past generations.  2) Families are smaller, so parents have more time (and money) and are able to obsess over their kids in a way that just wasn't possible in past generations when people had 4-5-6 kids.

Do  you mean if the teen worked at a minimum wage job? I don't see "many" teenagers who work anymore at jobs like that. My nephew is 21 and he's never (yet) worked for pay in his life. And no, I'm not saying there are no teens who work. I'm just saying there seem to be fewer than when I was a kid. When I was growing up, lots of teenagers even in the affluent area I lived in, had summer jobs or at least did babysitting.
Yes, when I was in high school in the 80s, I'd estimate 50% of my classmates had jobs.
In college, I'd say 80% of my classmates had jobs during the school year, and that number shot up to near-100% in the summer. 
Today few of my high school students have jobs, and my kids have been in the minority in having jobs during college -- many of their classmates don't even have summer jobs. 

I think the loss of unstructured play, in my narrow parenting experience, is work.  My mom didn't work until I was well old enough to be at home with my younger brother.  So we had unstructured play (mostly frisbee and kick ball) in the backyard all summer.  I have a FT job.  My kids are at school until 5 pm.  They have mostly structured play in the after school hours.  Some unstructured.
I don't think it's all due to any one item, but I agree that parents' work is a big contributing factor ... when both parents work and the kids are in after-school care 'til 5:00, parents want the kids to "stay in" in their evening hours, and there's homework to be done.  Add to that:

- Parents are more afraid to allow kids to roam
- Kids have more technology, and it's awfully attractive to lay about in the air conditioned house and play X-Box
- Even if your kid isn't in after-school care, most of the other neighborhood kids ARE, so who's available to play?  Back to the X-Box
- Parents seem to feel more pressure to put kids "into activities", so that cuts down on time


StacheyStache

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2017, 08:09:03 AM »
I feel the "organized" part of sports has gotten way out of hand. It's like every second has to be scheduled and accounted for. I have a friend who has two kids, they mostly do swimming. He literally doesn't have a day off during the week from driving them around. 3 out of 4 Saturdays are taken up with meets. Are these kids extraordinary athletes who are going to get swimming scholarships to college? Not even close, below average, even in their current peer group. One of them doesn't really even want to do swimming anymore, but the parents know that if they let him drop it he will sit around the house all day and play video games. It's a conundrum.

I didn't grow up in swimming but my 14-year-old high school freshman has been a competitive swimmer since 6. It really belongs in another category. When I hear travel soccer/baseball folks bemoaning their life, I point out that when they watch a 2-hour baseball/soccer game, they're probably watching their kid play for two hours. Swim parents will spend 8 hours at the pool -- often two or three days in a row, prelims and finals - and see their kid swim for about 10 minutes -- perhaps 20-30 if they do distance events.

When competitive swimmers reach 13-14, they typically practice 9x a week. Monday-Saturday, twice on two weekdays and Saturdays. My guy practices Tues/Thurs mornings from 4:45 to 6:15 AM before school. It's the one sport the kid can't be forced to do; it's too brutal. We all grew up with the tall kid forced to play basketball/volleyball because parents felt they should or the kid playing baseball/tennis because it was one parent's childhood sport. But swimming is brutal and boring. Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps's coach, has also been involved in horse racing and he's often remarked that they couldn't train horses like swimmers because it would kill the horses.

Here in Florida, where school is canceled and we're on hurricane prep alert, we still had practice from 7 to 9:30 this morning. And there was 100 percent attendance.

My younger son, 12, quit swimming last year. Not his thing. But he also has Boy Scouts and basketball. I've seen other kids come through our swim club and burn out. But I've also seen a parade of very well-adjusted, high-achieving kids come through our club and go to every top college in the USA, in large part because of the discipline and time management required of swimming. I look back to my baseball/basketball/track life in 1980s high school....modest athletic training compared to what these kids do.

So much this.  I was forced into swimming from early elementary school in the summer neighborhood league until 8th grade (can't remember when I started year round swimming, late elementary maybe?).  I liked the neighborhood league alright because it wasn't intense and I could hang out with my friends and splash around after practice but I  never really liked the sport of swimming and I hated hated HATED year round.  Practices all week, freezing cold water, competitions hours away that lasted all weekend even when I only competed in two events, HATED IT.  My parents gave me the same bull about how I would just sit around all day if I didn't go but that wasn't true as I begged to do dance or basketball (I had close friends in both activities) and was already in girl scouts and several academic school clubs.  I think the real reason was some combination of my dad being an outstanding lifelong swimmer and wanting his kids to follow in his footsteps and my sister being an outstanding lifelong swimmer who loved the sport made dragging us both to the same place easier than carting us to two separate activities. 

Anyway.  My sister was two years older and on the high school team and I saw what was coming for me (4:30 am wakeups, practices before and after school instead of just after school, no thanks).  In 8th grade I started locking myself in the bathroom to avoid getting dragged to practice.  That finally got the message across that I was done with swimming.  I joined the dance team as soon as I started high school and never looked back.

I hope I always remember not to let it get to the point where my kids are locking themselves in the bathroom to go to an activity that's supposed to be fun.

fredbear

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2017, 11:10:48 AM »
I was interested at my 20th high-school reunion to note that the football kings and the cheerleaders they had married had gone to seed.  Their high-school message had been, "You can only exercise with 21 other people.  You prep for a game by eating a large steak.  Laps are punishment."  Or, "you are only active when hundreds are watching, and it is gymnastic rather than aerobic."  It was better to have been a bicyclist, a hunter, a fisherman, a walker; those who had been still approximated (pretty closely, actually) the bodies they had had at 18.  It's arguable, of course, iwhether the experience of operating as part of a team teaches life lessons not available to a road biker, but on balance, I'd rather have kept the high-functioning body and missed out on the initiation into teamery. 

Veracity compels the admission that somehow I sired 3 children who lettered in football, soccer, swimming, rugby, baseball, basketball, track and cross country, wrestling and volleyball.  God may be just, but certainly is humorous.  As one who never saw a team sport that could not provide me with racking boredom, there were about 10 years there where I attended endless practices, endless games, and end-of-season sports banquets that stretched past 1 AM ("When I think of this kid, there's one word that comes to mind, and that one word is "HEART."  Smitty, run the clip of Jimmy Jenkins at the Lakewood third-string game.  There!  People, did you SEE that?  Re-run it, Smitty."  Jimmy and his parents beam.  And so for every member of the varsity, the JV, the sophomore team, the freshman team.

My kids are in early-onset middle age, and if they learned any special insight into the operation of life-teams, I can't discern it.  (But of course I can't, given I got two recessives on the team-sport gene.)  What I did learn was an abiding respect for coaches.  Thank god I had no exposure to the rabid coaches mentioned above.  All the coaches my kids had were selfless, generous, humorous, competent, skilled in their sport, fair.  They helped raise my kids in areas where I was wholly incompetent. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #46 on: September 11, 2017, 05:49:23 AM »
I don't live in a rich neighborhood by any means and there are kids playing outside all the time.

mm1970

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #47 on: September 11, 2017, 11:15:17 AM »
I'm active but not particularly sporty--neither is husband--and we STILL struggle. I think part of it is the perception that if your kid doesn't learn to do basic skills now, he or she will NEVER have the ability to play on a team sport ever again. So if I don't have my kid in basketball leagues by Kindergarten, he won't be able to make the team in jr. high because so many of his peers are so advanced or have played on a team together for 9 years. When I take a step back, I know it's silly but the struggle is real. I have boys so this is about sports but my friends with girls say the same thing about dance.

There is definitely this.... but one reason is that today, there is only ONE Jr. High / high School team at each grade level.   And they only take a first and second string because the bus, uniforms, cost money, and getting coaches is difficult.   Having one grade 9 basketball team, with only 9-11 players on it, out of a class size of 200?!   It sucks for kids that did not get the extra, and that is a true shame.    Kids are lucky if there are lunchtime intramural teams, and those just tend to be floor hockey and dodgeball, here.

I remember being able to play on cheap community rec teams, or the "B" team in junior high.  Heck our grade 8 volleyball team had 31 players on it to give all a chance.   That just doesn't happen any more.

It's so tough. I avoided many organized sports for my kids and refused to shell out big bucks for it. My son was on a travel soccer team from 9 -13, mostly because it wasn't too expensive and they practiced a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, turns out that while my kid loves sports of all kinds and is naturally good at most sports he tries...he doesn't truly excel at any. Still, in grade school, he was able to make it on all the sports teams and had lots of fun.

Grade 9 was a horrible disappointment for him and now that he is entering Grade 10, he is still struggling to figure out how to deal with it. He tried out for pretty much every team - volleyball, tennis, badminton, soccer, basketball, etc etc. Was a "pity" sub in tennis. He was technically on the badminton team - he went for all practices and they asked him to pay $15 for his team shirt. Shortly after, he was told he did not make it to the team that actually played ANY games (My DH was raging mad about the shirt. My DH was insisting my poor DS "return" the useless shirt - I did step in and put a stop to that but I am still bitter about it too). This means that the only sports kids like him get to play is at gym class for one semester of the whole school year.

His personal identity has shifted. He used to call himself an athlete and loved sports of all kinds. Now, he's not sure what he is good at anymore. I'm now trying to find non-organized sports for him to have fun with. We play badminton and tennis as a family. And I'm trying to get him interested in long distance cycling with me. I'd like him to develop a lifelong love for physical activities and just have fun with it. Unfortunately, he is 14 and equates sports with organized sports and doesn't see much point in just playing for fun *sigh*

it sucks that kids need to be at the top level to participate in high school level sports these days. This is the time they should get to try out different things and find out what they enjoy doing. Instead, now it seems you better figure that out by grade school and perfect it before high school.
This is tough.  Is there any way to get pick up games together?  Or individual sports?  We aren't there yet (have 3 years till HS).  My son still considers himself an athlete.

Something like running/ swimming/ cycling/ or pickup volleyball / basketball etc. Might help.  Ease him into "college" and "adulthood".

In college and adulthood, I did a variety of intramural sports, pickup volleyball games, volley ball leagues.  There were sports complexes where you could join a team or pay $5 to play.  Kids get together to shoot hoops.  Long term, as an adult, the ability to play many sports will be good for him.

How about coaching, also?  A lot of the coaches for our local baseball teams are Dads and their high school aged sons who aged out of playing ball.

Bobberth

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2017, 03:48:44 PM »
Here's a different perspective: I used to teach at an all-girls high school in St. Louis. We perennially had good sports teams and at times our teams dominated the state playoffs. We had a big sports draw. Some would show up freshman year and if they didn't make the team, they would transfer to another school. From what I saw, if you played varsity at the school, you had a good chance at getting a scholarship. Somewhere. There were even some that didn't make the team that got scholarships. But the key is **somewhere**. We did have a handful of D1 athletes while I was there but there were many athletes that were so desperate that they would go anywhere for a scholarship. I'm originally from Kansas and kids would come up to me excited, "I got a scholarship to X College!" "Cool! Where is that?" "That's in Kansas. Haven't you heard of it?" I was a high schooler looking at colleges in Kansas and I had never heard of the school and now a girl from St. Louis was going to go there to play soccer. We had many students go to a school in Mississippi. 1000 miles away from home. In Mississippi. To play soccer. Many community college and low level (sport and academic) colleges were frequent recruiters.

Kids would come back to school and tell me about their practice schedules and how they don't actually get to attend classes much because of practice and workouts so they depend on tutors and study halls. Kids who went far away to school would come back saying they didn't like being so far from home or that Mississippi sucks (duh!). Others came back a year or two later saying it wasn't worth the time and effort. Others wanted/needed to move to 'better' schools than what they could get a sports scholarship to for their studies. I came to question if it was really worth accepting a sports scholarship in the first place.

One moment I will always remember is I had a senior homeroom. When they were juniors, the soccer team was good. I can't remember what place they got but they were in the final 4 and since the juniors were stronger than the seniors that left, they were the favorites to win state the next year. One of the girls in my homeroom was one of the stars on the soccer team, even as a junior. Her dad played soccer professionally and ran lessons and leagues around the area. I'm sure she had a soccer ball as soon as she was born. Soccer was her life. Senior year she decided that she wanted to go to school to learn and that she wouldn't play soccer in college so she didn't go out for the team her senior year. Towards the end of the year the team was undefeated and destroying teams in the state tournament. If I remember right, they were ranked in USA Today's top 25 HS teams. And this girl would have been one of the best on the team. The excitement for the team was bubbling so I asked her one morning before school, "C, do you regret not being on the team and missing out on this?" She responded with the biggest smile I have ever seen and said, "Absolutely not!" She was so happy to have all of the year around sport, and pressure off. She was still the manager for the team so she got to travel with her friends to games and still be apart of it but there were no practices or pressure and that was worth more than anything to her.

a rose by any other name

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2017, 09:13:28 AM »
I feel the "organized" part of sports has gotten way out of hand. It's like every second has to be scheduled and accounted for. I have a friend who has two kids, they mostly do swimming. He literally doesn't have a day off during the week from driving them around. 3 out of 4 Saturdays are taken up with meets. Are these kids extraordinary athletes who are going to get swimming scholarships to college? Not even close, below average, even in their current peer group. One of them doesn't really even want to do swimming anymore, but the parents know that if they let him drop it he will sit around the house all day and play video games. It's a conundrum.

I didn't grow up in swimming but my 14-year-old high school freshman has been a competitive swimmer since 6. It really belongs in another category. When I hear travel soccer/baseball folks bemoaning their life, I point out that when they watch a 2-hour baseball/soccer game, they're probably watching their kid play for two hours. Swim parents will spend 8 hours at the pool -- often two or three days in a row, prelims and finals - and see their kid swim for about 10 minutes -- perhaps 20-30 if they do distance events.

When competitive swimmers reach 13-14, they typically practice 9x a week. Monday-Saturday, twice on two weekdays and Saturdays. My guy practices Tues/Thurs mornings from 4:45 to 6:15 AM before school. It's the one sport the kid can't be forced to do; it's too brutal. We all grew up with the tall kid forced to play basketball/volleyball because parents felt they should or the kid playing baseball/tennis because it was one parent's childhood sport. But swimming is brutal and boring. Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps's coach, has also been involved in horse racing and he's often remarked that they couldn't train horses like swimmers because it would kill the horses.

Here in Florida, where school is canceled and we're on hurricane prep alert, we still had practice from 7 to 9:30 this morning. And there was 100 percent attendance.

My younger son, 12, quit swimming last year. Not his thing. But he also has Boy Scouts and basketball. I've seen other kids come through our swim club and burn out. But I've also seen a parade of very well-adjusted, high-achieving kids come through our club and go to every top college in the USA, in large part because of the discipline and time management required of swimming. I look back to my baseball/basketball/track life in 1980s high school....modest athletic training compared to what these kids do.

So much this.  I was forced into swimming from early elementary school in the summer neighborhood league until 8th grade (can't remember when I started year round swimming, late elementary maybe?).  I liked the neighborhood league alright because it wasn't intense and I could hang out with my friends and splash around after practice but I  never really liked the sport of swimming and I hated hated HATED year round.  Practices all week, freezing cold water, competitions hours away that lasted all weekend even when I only competed in two events, HATED IT.  My parents gave me the same bull about how I would just sit around all day if I didn't go but that wasn't true as I begged to do dance or basketball (I had close friends in both activities) and was already in girl scouts and several academic school clubs.  I think the real reason was some combination of my dad being an outstanding lifelong swimmer and wanting his kids to follow in his footsteps and my sister being an outstanding lifelong swimmer who loved the sport made dragging us both to the same place easier than carting us to two separate activities. 

Anyway.  My sister was two years older and on the high school team and I saw what was coming for me (4:30 am wakeups, practices before and after school instead of just after school, no thanks).  In 8th grade I started locking myself in the bathroom to avoid getting dragged to practice.  That finally got the message across that I was done with swimming.  I joined the dance team as soon as I started high school and never looked back.

I hope I always remember not to let it get to the point where my kids are locking themselves in the bathroom to go to an activity that's supposed to be fun.

I was forced into swimming too, but my parents made me do it all through high school also and I pretty much hated my life during swim season. In the water at 5:30 before school every day, not getting home from afternoon practice until 6:30 (or if there was a meet on a weeknight, 9-10 pm) and then having to do homework for all the AP classes until something like midnight and packing my bag for the next day to wake up at 5 and do it all over, and spending half the day on Saturday at school practicing too...it was so awful. I'm honestly still a little upset about my parents forcing me into that, and I'm in my 30s now. The funny thing is, many of the kids on the team who were not forced into it hated it too. I just never understood why it had to be so intense. I wouldn't have minded swimming if we just had after school practice!