Thursday, May 02, 2013
Many sparkers have described that experience as a personal trauma.
Sports is big business in the USA. How does this correlate with the activities of childhood?
I know that competitive sports for kids is serious stuff. Two of my 3 children and 2 of my grandchildren have been/are participants in this.
35 million children in the USA play organized youth sports yet we know that the obesity rates in children and adolescents have increased dramatically in the last 30 years and are still on the rise.
A comparatively small percentage of the most gifted are encouraged to train seriously to gain advantage at the next level. Articles about injuries, burnout and even steroid use in HS are common. Occasionally videos of parental rage and assault make the news.
What about everyone else? Isn’t sports and physical activity worthwhile for everyone?
Is it FUN anymore?
I’ve watch kids’ sports change over my lifetime.
I remember when we would choose teams and play without keeping score. Each side was “at bat” until 3 outs, but the score wasn’t important. Stickball, kickball, punchball – but nothing organized. There were basketball hoops in concrete covered playgrounds but not much room for real games.
“Little League” must have been around then but it never made it to anyone I knew in South Brooklyn. I do remember seeing T-Shirts for PAL (Police Athletic League) although I’m not sure exactly what that was. Some must have participated in organized athletics, since they had T-Shirts, but most of us were just out there in the street.
I don’t mean this to be a biased memory of the “good old days” but a thoughtful look at what part sports and athletic activity in general play in the lives of children. I would appreciate the perspective of sparkers regarding this.
SP encourages us to “get moving.”
What if we had kept moving from childhood on?
What if everyone was encouraged to improve?
Kids mature at different rates. The biggest, fastest, strongest at age 12 doesn't always maintain that advantage.
What if it was actually FUN?