By: Lee Ramsey
Summer means different things to different people. When it comes to sports, that statement takes on a whole new meaning.
For school kids, summer use to mean riding you bicycle to the local pool or swimming hole and hanging out all day with your friends. Another day it might have meant going fishing with family or friends at a local farm pond, river or lake after you dug some red worms, of course.
On another day, it might have meant going camping in the mountains or on the lake all week long.
And then there was baseball. Kids came together from all over the neighborhood to play. The game would be worked in between all the other activities including sleeping late.
Things have changed drastically and I’m not sure for the better. In fact, I don’t think it has.
Somewhere along the way over the last 40 years, summer vacation for school kids has become a training ground for organized sports.
Organized sports have taken many kids’ childhood away from them by way of commitment to practice, games and personal training.
What happened to a stress free summer vacation that kids earned during the school year?
It’s all really about parents of athletes keeping up with the “Joneses”. Their saying, “If my child doesn’t work hard in his sport this summer, he will be behind everyone else because they are working hard.” Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Don’t misunderstand me. Few people love sports or is more competitive minded than I am. In fact, I made the very same mistake as a parent, so don’t take it personal. I’m guilty also.
I’m not saying to not to let your child participate in sports at all during the summer or not to work hard to get better. Just use moderation when making commitments. Leave time for kids to have fun and be a kid.
If you as a parent are worried about athletic scholarships for your child in college, preparation for that doesn’t get really serious until the athletes latter years in high school.
Traveling teams, personal trainers, rigorous camps, and out of town tournaments are good for the athlete’s development but very often go over the top. It can also create burnout.
Parents often don’t have time to even schedule a family vacation because it conflicts with the sports schedule. Everything revolves around their child’s sports schedule.
Use caution and don’t let the tail wag the dog. Remember the real priorities in life.
This generation of children is faced with pressures and stress that our generation wasn’t. Parents can help relieve this by not over scheduling sports activities.
Seymour is an outstanding sports community. That is a great asset as long as everything is kept in perspective.
Dreams are special for the parent as long as reality is at the forefront.
Childhood memories of summers growing up is a reality that will last a lifetime.
Sports in Perspective
By: Lee Ramsey