coached youth hockey, you can certainly say that I have an interest in the world of youth sports, and it appears I’m not the only one!
No, recently, Tom Brady himself gave an interview for a radio station in
Boston in which he talked about youth sports
He talked about how, when he was a child, sports were “localized,” meaning
kids didn’t travel way out of their way to play in serious, high-pressure
games. He went on to say that he was also encouraged to try his hand at
different types of sports, including everything from baseball to basketball to
soccer and beyond. He also touched on how most of this playing happened at
home, in his street and yard, and was informal and just plain fun in nature.
Sadly, though, it seems that the kind of fun, frivolous play that Brady
enjoyed as a child is a real rarity these days. Today’s kids are often forced
to specialize in just one sport, rather than being allowed to try out different
things. They also, more often than not, have to commit themselves to demanding
travel teams and playing in high-pressure games. They’re taught to worry about
scholarship opportunities and the possibility of “going pro” before they’ve
even really gotten the hang of the sport they play.
Do you see a problem with all of this? If you don’t, then…well…you should.
Children should be allowed to JUST play and enjoy like they were back in the
day. Obviously, it worked out just fine for Brady and for many other
professionals. They should be allowed to enjoy any sport they like just for the
sheer fun of it. After all, they’ve got the rest of their lives to get serious
about a particular sport and to actually worry about what they’re going to do
with the rest of their lives.
Do everything you can to make sports FUN for your child. If he or she is
meant to “go pro,” the rest will follow without anyone forcing it. In fact, not
pushing your kid too hard lessens the chances of burnout and actually increases
the chances of a successful, long-lasting experience with sports, so stop the
pressure and start the fun.