Sunday, April 13, 2008

Wayne didn't play it all.

It’s interesting being an old school ideology trapped in a modern clique. I especially notice the differences through coaching children across different sports.

Awhile back, I was sitting in the hockey dressing room listening to a parent boast about how their son had to quickly change gear to get to his soccer tournament. Seemed as though both were running simultaneously and it was necessary for his son to attend 2 games of each. Not surprisingly, there were three more parents in the room stressing over the same situation. As one could imagine, by the end of the day and the last hockey game – the kid was fried. Although he was a great little skater – it was CLEARLY TOO MUCH and he turned in a below par performance based on his skill.

I just have to ask? Do you actually believe you are acting in the best interest of your child here – or are you just that stupid? Yes my son too was enrolled in both soccer and hockey and since soccer ran for 3 times as long as hockey, it was determined that he would not attend the soccer tournament for that weekend. If he were to ask why, which he did not – we would have said something to the effect of – you either focus 100% on 1 thing or 50% on 2. Which case do you think is going to benefit you more?

Across a different example, we are now into baseball season and the 3rd year of baseball for many of the kids. What’s fantastic are the parents who clearly take the time out to practice and show their kids a thing or two about baseball before they just sign them up because Molly is. These kids come (after 3 years) with an understanding of the game, it’s elements and ultimately have an enjoyable time. What’s annoying are the parents who are dropping their kids off to play with zero knowledge of the game or it’s elements, very little time spent practicing and expecting us to make their kids have fun & be great across two hours a week.


You see, to be that very Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods, Cal Ripken or Air Jordan your kid is on their way to being (in your mind), they actually have to focus A LOT more on A LOT less.

And while right now It’s about exposing your kids to a variety of sports, music and interests to determine what they like the best, that doesn’t look like a smorgasbord of finger food samplers consumed as fast as possible and chased with a cold bevy.

To enjoy a sport doesn’t require being the best or going all the way to the big leagues, but it does require being IN the game as opposed to just being AT it. Remember, Wayne never had an X-Box, 99% averages, a cell phone (in case of emergency!), 4 other sports / quarter, play dates, or vicarious parents trying to relive their glory days through their kids to contend with. If you took your head out of your ass, we wouldn’t likely have to yell at your kid to do the same thing on the field, rink, diamond or pitch.

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