Thursday, November 11, 2010

NOT SO SOFT BALL

For a while now I have been questioning the involvement of our young in extracurricular activities. Often, they seem much too extra for my comfort. I believe in the learning, discipline and team work value of sports and other activities for children. But, everything in moderation.

OK. In previous blogs I have admitted to being an older,senior person, aka an old fart. Maybe I am missing something. But maybe I'm not!

When I call a person at 8:58PM and her young daughter just walked in from softball on a school night,I think to myself this is crazy. When I observed families over the summer, traveling all over the state for softball tournaments for their 10 or younger daughters, I thought to myself, this is crazy. They play 2 or more games in a day. It is 100+ degrees in the shade in July. It consumes the whole weekend and much money and almost all the quality family time.Not much one on one when your kid is in the outfield sweating like a pig,while you are doing the same in the stands. And there is no beer to be had.It's a triple...bummer! Not to mention the dirty looks you give your kid when she strikes out or drops the ball. Stop with the looks! Its just an f'in game don't you know?

This all reminded me of a family in a traveling hockey league whose young sons played in a tournament each year as far away as Canada or Chicago over Thanksgiving weekend. Seemed like a turkey t(rot) to me.

Remember, sports for me were unorganized, disorganized treats on the streets of the Bronx, N.Y. or the school yard. No uniforms, coaches, practices, etc. Just pure fun and games. We made up the rules as we went along. These were our fields of glory, all in the name of playing.I define play as having fun in a relaxed and easy atmosphere.Organized sports, etc. seem much too serious with frustrated jocks as coaches. But even when my kids were young it was one practice during the week at 5ish and a game on Saturday morning or afternoon.

By the way, I am not only picking on sports. I encounter children who do piano lessons, gymnastics and swim team all in the same week. My personal feeling is that kids have plenty of time to be stressed in their adult lives,just not by the age of 10!

I think we should go back to the calmer days. I fear the wave of super parents are trying to raise super kids and are simply super stressing the family out. Kids really need and deserve to be kids.Parents really need to be practical and protective, as well as enjoy their weekend family and personal time out. Multi-game tournaments in the South Florida heat really need and deserve to be abolished.There is really no point.

I know some of you will disagree. Meet you at the school yard for a showdown game of one on one hoops. No, maybe just a game of HORSE. After all, I am an old fart!!

Then again my set shot is 8 out of 10 from the free throw line! OK, maybe 7 on a windy day!

Bye For Now,

Bill

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