Busy sports schedules — are they really for the children?

  • Article by: Steve Purdum
  • Updated: August 31, 2013 - 7:32 AM

It starts even before school does. But my experience running a summer camp shows that kids need more than one time of the year without pressures closing in.

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martytoilAug. 30, 13 9:09 PM

Everything is a choice, you can choose not to be in something. The best gift that I gave my children was the gift of how to conduct yourself when nothing was going on. We intentionally make sure that we do not over schedule our children. That means that we make choices not to join in many things.

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hermajestyAug. 30, 13 9:35 PM

My parents did not let my me or my brothers join any organized summer activities, including Little League. My father had a month of vacation, and that was our family time to travel all over the U.S. By the time I graduated from high school, I had visited 38 states. We spent much of the rest of the summer hanging out at my grandparents' lake place, reading, playing in the woods, swimming. This "slack-off" summer didn't hurt us academically. We all graduated from college, and two of us had professional careers. I don't know when we got this idea that kids have to be busy all the time, but I feel sorry for kids today.

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badcopperAug. 31, 13 8:08 AM

Too many parents either believe "Junior" will be an MLB Star or are just too afraid to spend time with their children. Let children be children. They have the rest of their lives to be stressed by tight schedules.

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owatonnabillAug. 31, 13 8:42 AM

It comes down to individual choice. If Junior wants to learn how to tie knots and fillet goats then attending a camp where that kind of stuff is taught is for him. On the other hand--well, you're not gonna spend your summers doing that, then strap on pads and a helmet come September and expect to be written up by Sid Hartman as the Best Thing To Hit Minnesota Prep Athletics Since Sliced Bread. Achievement demands sacrifice, by Junior AND Mommy/Daddy.

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regionguyAug. 31, 1311:30 AM

"there are four away swim meets within the first five days of high school classes. This means that our daughter will not attend afternoon classes on three days of the first week of school." That's outrageous. I am surprised there isn't a state-level rule barring that intense a level of competition.

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suburbiaAug. 31, 1312:15 PM

Yes, there are some athletes and parents with unrealistic expectations. But most high school and college athletes compete for the love of the game and because of the social aspects of sport. Despite the stereotype of the dumb jock, most student athletes have higher GPAs than non-athletes because they are more driven and have learned exceptional time management skills that will serve them well through out life.

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pumiceAug. 31, 13 1:46 PM

Re: "[M]ost student athletes have higher GPAs than non-athletes because they are more driven and have learned exceptional time management skills that will serve them well throughout life." (1) Are you talking about high school, suburbia, or college--where student-athletes have perks such as structure supervised by coaches and study sessions and academic support supervised by academic advisors? (2) Are you talking about young men or young women? (3) Are you sure about your thesis?

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goferfanzSep. 1, 13 8:44 AM

Copper is correct--->most parents are delusional about their child's sports future. My fave quote, now two decades old, from one smart lady remains--->"if parents spent even a fraction of the time on their kid's school homework that they spend on youth sports, then nuclear fusion would long ago have been a reality." I agree now more than ever ;o)

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