Author Topic: Kids Sports- what is going on  (Read 9738 times)

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2017, 10:11:32 AM »
I played and coach soccer. My boys play as well, although they are still rather young.

I encourage them to enjoy the sport, but I also encourage them to try other sports/activities as well, as long as they stay active.

One activity per season. Period. I ain't no full time chauffeur.

When it stops being fun, it's over.

I also saving for their college, so they don't have to work while at school so they may focus on their studies. I consider playing a sport in college a full time job.

Just Joe

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2017, 11:34:26 AM »

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.

Have you considered Boy Scouts? There are different organizations separate from the BSA too if your local group isn't appealing.

We left our local troop when a few of the parents started having public political opinions about topics that just weren't topics our troop was even faced with. My family falls into the "live and let live" category. We don't care who you voted for or which church you attend. Are we having fun being outdoors together? Mission accomplished. That troop had been of that variety. Several families left or diminished their participation levels after that.

Maybe things have cooled off since those days.

Another possibility - reach out to local outdoors shops (the Mom n Pop one in my town for example) which can connect you to folks doing outdoorsy stuff. We've hiked a couple times with a group of folks that just like to hike. They put out an email newsletter, welcome everyone and hike at least once a month. No fees.

Finally our town has a group of folks that meet Saturday mornings at a park soccer field to play soccer. No fixed teams or rosters. Just people playing a game they like. All ages, genders, ethnicity. I'm working on getting up my nerve to give this a shot. I am not athletic.

Some friends joined a travel team for their favorite sport. It took about a month before the fundraising began to cover food, hotels, and fees. Relatives of ours did it for years and it could be expensive.

Just Joe

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2017, 11:46:04 AM »
One more idea. Our younger child participates in an open house gym once a week more or less. About $8 and a group meets to run and jump and bounce and see who can climb the rope or hop over the obstacles (padded). Sort of like "parkour" but with safety in mind. Only the few minutes at the beginning is structured during the warm ups.

Both of our kids started out in community sports. Neither have much interest in the "rules" nor are either very competitive. Mostly like to "freestyle". Bikes, hiking trails, obstacle courses at the gym, etc.

Just made the older child quit a fast food job b/c the employer couldn't seem to keep their employee roster full and worked everyone else too many hours. Instead of a part time after school job it began to look alot like a full time job and school performance is suffering for it - and a lack of academic motivation.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2017, 04:23:21 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.


This is a great point. I'm the assistant coach on my daughters' rec soccer teams. I have told them that I view this rec league as taking the place of the pickup type games we played as a kid. Last weekend I coached both of their games. The younger kids lost but they actually didn't realize it. I asked if they had fun and they said yep! That was all I wanted for them. The older kids won but the main focus of that game was trying to rotate the kids around into different positions just to keep them all from dying from the heat. Our goalie for the first half offered to play the second half too but I said no way. She needed a chance to play some other positions and the other players needed to learn goalie. U12 is way too young to be worrying about specialization.

Oh, and re Girl Scouts ... never again. I didn't actually have much trouble with the parents but the organization demanded so much of us that it was a serious PITA.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Kids Sports- what is going on
« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2017, 09:41:47 AM »
Youth sports are definitely crazy nowadays. My boss is always doing something for her kids' softball activities.

Luckily, my wife and I are on the same page in that we'll encourage our kid (she's still an infant now) to always have 1 physical/extracurricular activity going on. No more, no less. What that activity is will ultimately be up to her. I guarantee you we'll have her try dance or ballet, only cause my wife did that. If she doesn't like that, then maybe we'll put her on a city-league soccer team. Who knows, she may end up wanting to play hockey (my pocketbook hopes not). On the flip side, she could despise physical activity and prefer music. But we both agree that trying to turn your kid into a mini-mi just makes the kid hate you down the line.

Either way, once the kid finds a niche, we'll encourage them to seek balance, but also push them just a little bit. "Do you want to spend all summer playing X sport, or would you rather take a break and go back to playing in the fall?" Or, "You committed to this travel swim team. I know you don't want to wake up at 4am for morning practice, but you made a commitment for a season and you're going to honor it, so get your butt out of bed." Hopefully we can convey the message of "there's more to life than whatever sport you're into, but if you really really want something, you're going to have to work for it."

We'll also reiterate that they get 1 activity at a time to keep everybody's sanity. It's not that we want to hold our kid back, but we both agree that having a kid go all in with music, sports, school, and family is simply too much for everyone involved. Yes, you can take guitar lessons, but let's wait for basketball season to be over.

Unrelated to my point, but related to previous posts in this thread, there are kids playing outside in my neighborhood every day. I know it's different in other places, but unstructured play is still alive and well in my hood, for all ages.