The last time I went to a sporting event to watch one of my kids was in May. It feels like an eternity. I see all my friends going to baseball and soccer games and I can’t help but worry that my kids are being left behind.
It’s not like we’re doing nothing.
We’re fishing. We’re nature walking. We’re swimming. We’re jet skiing. We’re tubing. We’re outside, spending time together.
But still. I sit there and scroll through Facebook to see all my friends at sporting events. I text my friends to come over and hang out. “Can’t. Have another late game.” Should I be a late game?
When I was growing up, there weren’t sports until fourth or fifth grade. There was no worry that we’d miss out or not be very good because we didn’t start sports in the womb like Brazilians do. Donnie started basketball in 4th or 5th. I started volleyball in 5th and we both played D1 sports. But… times, they are a-changing.
There’s a theory (Jerry Seinfeld?) that it takes 10 years to master something. So… if we start our kids in competitive sports at age 4, they’ll be ready to rule the high school and prime for a full ride when they graduate, right? Maybe. I’m sure that many hours focusing on one thing could really make a person an expert. But. At what point does expert level peak and passion start to drop? Does passion always drop?
I’ve seen very talented kids quit sports when high school is done or worse before they even get to high school. Burn out. I’m afraid of that.
I want my kids to grow up playing sports but I also want them to enjoy their unstructured “I’m bored” childhood. I think it’s good for them. So I’m going to continue to take the approach that we’ll do sports, but we won’t over-do sports. And, if my kid wants to be a 6’7″ Metaphysicist, then so be it. (I say this through gritted teeth).
So yeah, my kids didn’t do any sports this summer. No practices, no tournaments and no camps. Will they be behind in skills? Probably. Will they eventually catch up? Maybe. All I know is that when I see them out fishing and tumbling down a grassy hill, giggling all the way, I know we made the right decision.
All I know is that when I see them out fishing together or tumbling down a grassy hill, giggling all the way, I know we made the right decision.