Spring BaseballBy Denis Sweeney
10 March 2013
|'Home' photo I took in honor of Spring|
Baseball season has started again for my son. Little league in Campbell is serious stuff, and this year is more intense than ever. Sports in the US seem to have really changed a lot in the 40 years since i was a kid. Back then, kids could play 3 or 4 different sports (just to clarify, kids other than me played multiple sports... I knew plenty of kids like this) and only have to narrow down and specialize in one sport when they reached high school, but I'm already seeing pressure for the kids on my son's team (ages 9-12). Some of the kids on my son's team are already committed to specializing in baseball and do a travel team in the fall and play regular ball in the spring. That way, they're always working on it and excel during the regular season.
Pressure to Win at Amateur Sports
I'm not sure where that pressure is coming from.
-is it from the parents already worrying about college and beyond for their kids?
-is it the coaches, trying to do the best for their kid, and their reputation?
-or something else entirely?
I don't have the answers, but I see it in other areas too; in singers, bands, dancers, to mention a few. Maybe reality television is partly the cause? By putting everyday people in competion with each other in shows like Survivor, we glorify competition and bring real dollar rewards and fame to the winners. -Something has definitely stepped up our need to excel in amateur competition.
My Answer for My Kids
I told my son that he should play as long as it is fun, and when it stops being fun, he should move on to other interests. --and if it is still fun, keep doing it. It is something every parent has to evaluate for themselves, but for me, the answer is to provide opportunities, encourage them to explore their interests, and then support the choices they make. I thing there is value in knowing more than one sport. My son recently started taking fencing lessons, and I think he likes it more than baseball. It's too early to tell, but if he decides it is more fun, we may start to work on competitive fencing for fun. -Time will tell.
Enjoy the Springtime everyone!