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Lupica on Today show

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by 21, May 17, 2007.

  1. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Anyone catch this?

    He's there to promote his new book for kids....Lauer introduces it by saying 'your 97th book in two years' and closes by saying 'we'll see you back here in two weeks when the next one comes out.'

    Anyway. The books were inspired by his son being cut from his travel team. Agreed, a sad and painful event for a kid (and apparently worse for the parent). But the entire tone is 'you were treated unfairly and badly by someone who doesn't appreciate your greatness, and you can overcome this great injustice.'

    The new book is about a boy who goes away to summer camp and doesn't like his cabin, his counselor, the kids, the sports. No doubt it has a heroic ending in which the boy overcomes some great injustice.

    My question: Is there something wrong with just saying, 'hey kiddo, you don't always get a happy ending, and you don't always make the team, and maybe this just isn't your sport but you're good at all these other things, and we love you no matter what....so get over it and go clean your room.'

    To be fair, anything that gets kids to read is a good thing....I just think the message of 'don't listen to that idiot coach, he doesn't see your greatness' is just a horrible life lesson.
  2. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    No there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that. You learn life lessons as you grow up, it's what helps form you as an adult.

    But today, everything is so touchy feely and everyone is good enough. Sorry, just not that way. I loved baseball, wasn;t good enough. I did track and field instead. I got over it.

    There's nothing wrong with having your kid feel they can do anything and be what they want, and strive to do that. Too many parents coddle kids and tell them if it doesn't work out , it's someone else's fault. It's an entitlement age, and everyone gets a ribbon.

    Just my parenting opinion though.
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Absolutely nothing wrong with saying that, and it should have been said more often to a generation of coddled youth patted on the head for a "good try" after striking out three times and playing right field for two innings every game of the season.

    When the last-place team in the league has a party to celebrate the season, everyone gets a trophy or medal and they're all told "You were 1-13 but you played great!" then something's seriously wrong with the view on reality.
  4. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    Absolutely nothing wrong with that -- unfortunately parents nowadays would rather drive their minivans off a 1,500-foot cliff than admit that maybe, just maybe, little Jimmy or Katie isn't as good as the parents think they are.

    And this goes to another pet peeve of mine -- the "under dog" kids movies, like "Little Giants" or "Kicking and Screaming" where a bunch of dorky, nerdy non-athletic losers rise up and beat a team of superstar athletes who are coached by some meaning.

    What would be wrong with having the Little Giants get smashed by the Cowboys -- yet still laugh and have fun after the game? The message would be simple -- not everybody is good enough to play sports and yes, some kids are better than others, but that shouldn't matter because everybody, even the nerds, can still play sports and have fun, even if they get demolished, which, they surely would......
  5. Pastor

    Pastor Active Member

    The concept of the underdog overcoming obstiacles has been around longer than David and Goliath. I am not sure how this could suddenly become a bad thing.

    The idea is give the child hope. As time progresses and you work hard enough and practice long enough, you will become so good that the coach that cut you will realize how much of a mistake they made.

    Isn't this why we were treated with the "Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team" story?

    The story itself isn't ruining the mindset of children. The concept of overcoming obstacles without putting in any effort is the problem.

    I haven't read Lupica's books so I do not know how he addresses the children's ability to overcome. I can only imagine that because Lupica believes himself to be the coach that the loser's ability to win is based entirely on his coaching genius.
  6. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    The story itself is ruining the mindset of PARENTS.....

    And it is one thing to have an under dog story -- but sometimes the underdog loses, correct?

    Why is that story never told in movies?
  7. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    The gist of this interview (I wish someone else had seen it, don't you people watch the Today show??) was, 'You have coaches telling kids this may not be their sport, or telling parents to be realistic about their kids' ability, and this is just wrong, and unfair to the kids.'

    That seems preposterous to me. At some point, the parent who keeps telling the kid 'The coach is a jerk! You're not getting enough playing time! You should start! We'll start our own team!' is doing the kid a great injustice, no?

    Here's an excerpt. Can't tell if this is about the father or the son:

  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    The thing is, the "superstar" players aren't any better than the "nerds." They just have parents who are making sure their kids make the team.

    Kinda like how we choose a president.
  9. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    This is, of course, old, but worth a repost:

  10. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    This was a very clumsy attempt to make a political statement and find a way to rip George W. but I'll roll with you because, hey, who knows, perhaps W. bashing is another way to score cool points with the cool kids on the thread and lord knows you could use all the help you can get in that department..... ;D

    That being said, there most certainly are meddling parents but there are also good players and athletes and kids who should take up piano instead and the difference between the two is rather evident when you put them on the same fields and ask them to compete against each other.......
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    21, Nothing wrong at all with letting kids know that life is not always fair. If you coddle them too much, you don't prepare them for the fact that as adults sometimes things don't go your way and the true sign of adulthood is knowing how to deal with it anyhow.

    That said, the whole "travel team" culture in youth sports is disgusting. It smacks of adults trying to treat 10 and 11 year olds like they are pro athletes. VERY often, the kids aren't even chosen by merit. They are chosen by the dads who are most involved and based on prejudices the parents might have against each other. And kids suffer as a result of adult pettiness, and their feelings suffer, too. Why can't they just have leagues in which every kid gets to play and learn how to compete without some kids being singled out as "better" by the adults? The fact is that even if this whole travel team culture was a true meritocracy in most place, which it hardly ever is, the kids who are good at 10 and 11 often aren't the ones who turn out to be the best competitive players at 14, 15 and 16 when the competition starts stepping up.

    I believe the impetus for Lupica writing those books was his kid being cut from a basketball team and told he was too small. I am sure there was some petulance and whininess that led to Lupica starting his own traveling team for the "misfits" and hiring an overqualified coach to work with the kids. If only more adults had the capability to do that for their kids. But no matter the real story behind the fiction he is writing, I know his first book was incredibly popular with elementary school and middle school kids. I think a lot of kids have had a negative experience with being told they were "not good enough" for the traveling team and these books are resonating with kids. For me, the whole thing is just dumb. They are 12 year olds still developing and learning how to play the game. They should be competing in open leagues that give every kid a chance to play, get coached well, and start figuring out if they are going to be any good at the sport.
  12. part-timer

    part-timer Member

    Can't wait for the movie version. Maybe they can call it "Meatballs" or something like that.
    Oh, never mind.
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