Monday, May 4, 2009

Are we helping them or hurting them?

Hey friends...

I'm writing this just a few hours after my husband and middle son got home from East TN where his baseball team played in a tournament. This is a tournament that would have qualified them to play in a super big tournament in Disney World in early August. If you have followed the weather at all....then you know it has rained for 739 days straight here in Tennessee. Seriously.
Boats and snorkels are a hot commodity right now. Needless to say, their tournament was rained out. HUGE SURPRISE!!!

Rain....move along please. may come out now.

Ok, back to my most frustrated thoughts that I truly just need to spit out when it comes to parenting and the decisions we are making for our kids.

What about these dads and coaches that are stacking teams with studded out players and play 12 months a year and work them 12 months a year and they can't play another sport and it's breathe breathe breath, eat eat eat, sleep sleep sleep that specific sport.

Let me clarify...that is NOT us. NOPE. NADA.

But, apparently some coaches and dads think it is perfectly fine to pick and choose their team so they can be all studded out. And, they pick and choose their team throughout the season. A team could change from tournament to tournament. Is that even fair?? Yes and no, but I can't explain rules.

Did you catch something I said above??? PICK AND CHOOSE YOUR TEAM TO STUD YOURSELF OUT!!!!

Did I tell you they are 11 years old??? Ok, let me tell you.....they are 11 years old.

Do we think we are going to make them into driven adults who can go after whatever they want??

Or....are we going to burn them out and cause them to possibly give up on something earlier in life than they should want to?

I'm just a little confused. Driven or burned out...driven or burned out???!!! Hmmmm....

What are we trying to teach our kids?? At the age of 11??? Can you remind me again??

When did this become ok??

Again, I'm confused and tad bit concerned for some kiddos.

What kind of coach do your kids have?? What are you hoping to get out of their sporting experience??? Would you let your kid move from team to team to be a stud?? Are you living out dreams through your kids???

Blah blah blah...I'm kind of sick of the new "elite" thing I've been exposed to at the age of 11.

Yuck. Sick. Gross.

I am definitely competitive, but I know where to do draw the line. I love sports. There is a world out there of million dollar backers and private jets and all expenses paid for 11 year old teams. Yes there are. GROSS.
Ok, I feel better now. Carry on.


3girlsmom said...

YOU are helping them. Because you have it straight. It's a GAME. Not a life. And you realize that. And if your boys love it, then go for it.

We face the same dilemma with Mary Emma. I always make sure and ask her if she wants to keep playing softball. No pressure. If she wants to stop, it's fine with us. She doesn't, though. She loves it.

She played travel ball last year as a 6 year old (yes, too much - we decided we were several years away from committing to that - but it was a laid back, learning team). We played against a team like you mentioned. Complete with airplane (YES, airplane), tricked out gear, a trainer (WHAT???!!!!), and a cool mist fan (like you see on the sidelines of a pro-football team). THEY WERE 6 YEARS OLD. They were also about a foot taller than our tallest player (Mary Emma was the smallest, so you can imagine her intimidation) and one girl could hit the ball over the fence. Six. Years. Old. Girls. Softball.


tonya said...

Wow - and I've just been upset over the coach moving players around with one game left in regular season.

I'm soooo not cut out for Park Mom.

It hurt her feelings when he moved her even though he was moving her to try to get more outs at 2nd. She doesn't understand & thinks she played badly. I know she has to grow in this. But I really didn't get why doing it when one game left & they haven't practiced this way for two months of practice?

Oh well, I don't think we will ever have to worry about having a private plane & cool mist fan.

It's definitely a little over the top for me, but I can't handle our little park drama - LOL

Connie said...

There is not enough space in the world for me to unload how I feel about this particular situation. I will try to sum it up in one word....PRIORITIES.
Careful, People....

Teri~Facedown said...

I will say this, it really stinks when the ego of the coach supersedes the heart of the kids and the point of the game.

I haven't allowed my kids to play travel soccer because I refuse to give in to all of that. (Travel soccer is so bad here, just like the baseball you are talking about, although I haven't heard of private planes yet!) My kids have been asked to play, and I have politely said "no thank you!" They are competitive and have a ton of fun on their house league without all of the pressure. (And because they are really good, they get a ton of play time.) They also have the opportunity to play football, baseball, basketball and track.

I love the discipline it brings to the kids. They have to get good grades and it teaches them to prioritize their time, so really, the sport isn't the is what the coaches do to it that can really mess it up!

Okay, with that said, take me out to the ball game!

beckyjomama said...

OK, we haven't started any sports stuff yet, but ... ummm ... last I checked baseball was a GAME. And, are not games supposed to be, oh, I dunno, FUN!?!?!?!?!?

Where is the enjoyment in pushing a kid that hard. THEY ARE KIDS?!?!?! Sounds to me like those coaches & dads are trying to live vicariously through their CHILDREN!!!!!!!

Rachel said...

They start that garbage at 5 and 6 around here. My son doesn't play travel ball, just plain old city league. We played a team Saturday that is notorious for their overzealous coach. Some of the kids were very good but I noticed on 3 separate occasions with 3 separate kids that they cried if they did something wrong, not making the out, etc. Needless to say, those kids aren't having fun and my son will not be playing for any of those coaches.

Mel @ Studio MCA Designs said...

yeah. I agree. And we do not allow that, so instead, ours ends up on a team that loses most of the time because the teams are not evenly drafted. That is not fun, either. I have come to a place this season where I just about despise baseball. Sad, huh?

Mary Beth said...

This is exactly why I hesitate to let my kids get involved in organized sports at a young age. Even if their coaches are great and Jay and I keep the right attitude, they're still going to see it and it's still going to send the wrong message.

But I don't even let my kids watch television, so I'm just weird all the way around.

connorcolesmom said...

I had no idea it could be like that
I am not sure what I think about it
I think there are pros and cons that can be seen from either side

As long as they are having fun I say enjoy it! :)
Love ya

Georgia Jan said...

Oh the mother of two GROWN boys - this has stirred my heart. Oh the "agony of defeat" and MEAN coaches and MEANER parents and all that goes along with BOYS and BALL! I remember so well going to one middle school football game with my oldest son and we watched some of the boys get in cars and DRIVE away...they had to be 15 - and were barely eligible - but they were there...

I'm so glad our church has UPWARD Sports - which wasn't around when my boys played. I realize it isn't competitive enough for some families - but it is Christ-centered and focuses on attitude and sportsmanship...qualities that will matter in life!

I love what Connie said - it is all about PRIORITIES.

And I'll save you the details...but I'll never forget one county championship basketball game...triple son had 4 fouls and was sitting it out and the referee STILL called HIS number (which confirmed what I had been thinking he was trying to do the whole game) and so I "yelled out" and so embarrassed myself and it was a long night...and I was supposed to be at choir practice anyway! HAHAHAHAHA

Love you lots,
You WILL survive!


Re-reading Melissa's blog posts from her Compassion trip to India will bring everything back into perspective!

Profbaugh said...

OH Fran,

I wish I could say this was something new. . but alas it's not. There are some very nasty things going on in our kid's sports world. Like others have said, you need to keep your priorities straight. My kids (girls too here) are past that age thank goodness!

And yes, it starts at 5 here with serious training. One of the saddest things I ever heard was when I was in the local grocery store. Kids get offered free cookies from the bakery. When offered a cookie, the father of a 5 year old (if he was that old) said, "NO, He's in training!" Now, that's absolutely ridiculous!! But it's reality for many folks in our town. Argh! Makes me sick just thinking about it.

Yes, time to read Melissa's India posts again!! Keep it in perspective.

Much love,

Meli n Pat said...

My husband was a product of intense pressure to perform in his sport. It didn't help that his dad was his coach. The result was that as soon as he could (without getting physically punished), he quit playing and purposefully chose activities that his father had no deep knowledge of. It gave him a way to enjoy his "sport" of choice on his own level without the pressure. It also distanced him from his father. They have moved on and now look for the things that they can have in common, but it had a lasting affect.
I just went to a 4-year-old's soccer game that gave me the perfect image of what it should be about: a teammate stopped to help his fallen friend up instead of taking the wide open shot. That's what we should erupt into cheers for! That's the best life lesson!

A Stone Gatherer said...

I don't think you want to know my thoughts!!! I believe those fathers and coaches are teaching their children to win at all costs! That is the most important thing! PERIOD! It is very sad and makes me very angry! Where did playing a sport for the pure love of the sport go?

Darlene R. said...

We took Ethan out of the baseball league in our town because of the insanity that it included. Our lives WILL NOT revolve around the ballpark. All three of our kids play in the summer "fun" league. No practices and daytime games, all summer long. It's fun...and I get to soak up some summer sun. We love it!

It sounds like you are doing the right thing with your boys.

And...I miss you, too. I have been so out of the loop. I would love to take a road trip and come down to see ya.:) I do read everyone's blogs, I just don't comment very regularly. I know, it's terrible!!

Love ya,

Cheryl said...

We are aleady facing some of this stuff with Dougie. He's in a league for 7 and 8 yr. olds!!! This is the first year they select 'all-stars' and we've already been asked if Dougie would want to be chosen.
Umm let's see....
practices all through June
tournaments through July
giving up our beach trip
dedicating a whole summer to a sport
...I don't think so!

HE'S ONLY 8!!!!

It's madness!

Cheryl said...

Have you heard the story about Michael Oher, who was just drafted into the NFL?

Ya know when he started playing football? When he was a JUNIOR in hs! Proof that you don't have to play a sport from toddlerhood to be successful!

Alana said...

I'm just now becoming aware of this whole world. I'm not sure what to make of it yet...I find myself shaking my head a lot ;-)

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

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