Both my husband and I were competitive athletes, though we continually argue over which sport is more worthy of the title. He an all around ball player, I more of the individual sport type. Needless to say, we also have talked at length about the right approach to youth sports. There isn't really any argument between the two of us about this, just questions. How early is too early to start your child in organized athletics? Where is that fine line between motivational, supportive coaching and being a "crazy" who's expectations are a bit whacked out for youth leagues?
It seems today, in both athletics and academics, there is a big push to get our children "ahead". I feel as a former teacher and coach these idealist 7year old exceptions can be detrimental not only to the relationships we build with our child but the mindset and health of our children themselves. We all want to see our children succeed. But it is important to let our children be kids. Play as children play. Too much stress on growing up and being perfect is harmful to our youth. Please don't take any of my words offensively. I think it is great that parents get involved in their child's lives. They invest their time, money and energy in supporting something that means something to their kid. More than anything taking an interest, talking with, and being present for your child is important. At the end I give you a few good articles to read a close friend of mine and coach has shared, he too a collegiate athlete. Have a read and feel free to share your thoughts.
For now here are a few photos of our oldest in his first baseball tournament. It was a Friday-Sunday event. These boys did an amazing job. The coaching was positive, the boys adorable and of course the fans were phenomenal. I feel these events go beyond the games themselves and serve as a time for family and friends to spend together. I hope this is evident in the moments I captured.
"Where the Elite Kids Shouldn't Play"
The Race to Nowhere in Youth Sports