11/12/2003 Add a comment

The New York Times has a piece on insanely competitive youth sports. I think they recycle it once every six months. They get some quotes about the kids loving it, about how the increased competition is inevitable, citing youth athletics programs from abroad and whatnot. Gimme a break. If you didn't want your kid to play 80-game travelling team seasons, you could sign him up for something else. It's called "voting with your feet". And what ever happened to SCHOOL? LEARNING? Yes, playing on a sports team supposedly builds amorphous crap like "leadership skills" and "teamwork", but you don't need to have six-year-olds running sprints to build "leadership skills". And what about enriching children's lives with more valuable things like, oh, I don't know, "reading" and "math"?

I also think it's amusing how the parents and schools fight fire with fire. "Oh yeah, you want my kid to play soccer year round? Well, then the baseball team is going to start it's OWN soccer team!" "These kids are taking one sport too seriously? Fine, we'll make them play TWO sports!" Way to solve the problem, parents and administrators. ben