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Old-school sports parenting

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by shotglass, May 13, 2008.

  1. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I just came across a Web site: www.oldschoolsportsparenting.com. It's done by a former coach, and his basic premise is that he's tired of the touchy-feely faction of society thinking a kid playing sports is any less important than learning to play the piano, or working on art projects, etc. He's saying that being a youth athlete is important, and it should be treated as such.

    It's interesting, but I'm torn by the message in it. Take a look at it, and tell me what you all think. It should be especially enlightening to hear what those who cover prep sports think.
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I didn't read the whole site, but I did read the "10 commandments," and can't say I disagreed with any of them. I have a feeling this guy is probably a lot more overbearing than he comes off on his site (the fact that he put up this site is one reason), but the messages in the 10 commandments weren't bad.

    I do agree that it's ridiculous how often times people put physical pursuits on a lower ladder rung than, say, artistic pursuits. I mean, why is a person who drops acid and paints a fucked up portrait somehow more "valuable" than person who works his ass off to become an elite athlete?

    There's a schism in our culture between intellectualism and athleticism that isn't very healthy. The jocks beat up on the nerds and make them feel like shit for being smart, artistic, or whatever. The artists and intellectuals talk down to the jocks and make them feel like shit because they can't do advanced calculus or appreciate Degas.

    The fact is, everyone is different and some will pursue one avenue that interests them, others will pursue another and others will pursue another and so on. A kid isn't very smart, but discovers he can knock the hide off a baseball. Why should he be looked down upon because he pursues something he is good at, instead of struggling to follow a pursuit he may never get a handle on, no matter how hard he tries?
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    He lost me at:

    "...Who aren’t afraid to demand that their youngsters work at sports year-round if they expect to play at a competitive level."

    If your youngster is a true star, fine. But my kids play a variety of sports, mostly in their seasons. I think it's silly to devote all your energies to one sport.

    And I see plenty of kids who are pretty good 13-year-old baseball players and play on 3-4 teams year-round but you know that they will be mediocre high school players and won't play in college at all.

    But their youth is being spent largely on being good at one sport, mostly because their parents expect/demand it.
  4. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    One point of his that hit home with me was the family-vacations thing. He said if you're going to miss practices/events for family outings, OK, but don't expect the coach to take extra time to review everything the kid's missed when he comes back. And that parents can make adjustments on their personal schedule for the activity.

    I can see this. There are a lot of parents who seem to wear that like a badge of courage: "I'm not going to let this team determine when I go to Disney World." Well, the commitment has been made. The kid might be serious about being part of the team. And it might be as important to him/her as going to Disney World.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    He lost me at "Thou".
  6. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Oh, c'mon, JR. You had the stud athlete. Gimme something here. :)
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah, screw the family thing. Remember, he is talking about a year-round commitment. Lots of personal family time left, I am sure.
  8. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Skimmed it. The whole thing proceeds from a false premise.

    Is anyone here seriously going to make a case that this country values art over athletics? That the first elective programs cut in our local schools aren't the arts programs? That we somehow value the violin-playing dweeb over the shit-hot quarterback? That parents aren't already too serious about their kids athletics?

    The next time a mother gets arrested at the school play for punching the drama teacher, or one father kills another at a cello recital in this country because he didn't like the way things turned out, let me know.
  9. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Agreed. What kind of example are parents setting for children when they do that? It is fine to blow off a commitment as long as mommy and daddy say it's okay? The team should adapt to you rather than you adapting to be a part of a the team?

    Self-important bullshit.
  10. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I think some of his comments are gross generalizations, the others are full of shit. And his basic premise is nonsense.

    Here's what he says are basic truths:

    We think sports are for everyone (they’re not).

    I don't know anybody who says or believes that.

    We think they should be de-emphasized (they shouldn’t).

    Who says they should? Generalization

    We think they teach kids about commitment (they don’t).

    At the elite level, yes they do.

    We think an all-star high school career guarantees college opportunities (it doesn’t).

    He's right It doesn't but it's a gross generalization

    We think kids will burn out if they practice a sport year-round (they won’t).

    They can burn out and I don't think a kid under the age of 12 should play one sport all year round.

    We think everyone who shows up for practice has earned to right to play in the game (they haven’t).

    If it's a house league team, absolutely they should. And unless you're getting paid to play, yup, you have the right.
  11. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    I think the "family vacation" thing is often overblown. A family lives, loves and grows just as much under its own roof. You go on some meticulously planned family vacation, you often wind up frazzled, more spent and more irritable by the end of it than when you started.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Perhaps. but I sure as shit get frazzled heading out to baseball games 5-6 nights a week, too.
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