Saturday, June 2, 2012

Team Sports

Hubby is a PE teacher (yes, PE, not "gym". But that is a post for another day). He doesn't watch sports on TV. Unless I make him watch the 2012 NCAA basketball champs. Even then, it's only during March Madness. He just doesn't care so much about sports. Fitness, yes. Sports, nope.

Everyone always assumes that because hubby's a PE teacher (not "gym", also not a "coach") that sports are important to him. And that, because of that, the kid is/should be involved in a lot of sports. But that also isn't the case. Hubby and I actually are in agreement that organized sports aren't in our kid's best interest, at least for now. In general, hubby doesn't believe that organized sports are good for little kids at all (as in non-school age kids). That at those ages, they should be learning skills, not competing. That at those ages, competitive sports are really for the parents, not for the kids.

Personally, I have flashbacks of all the horrible coaches my brother had when he played soccer - and by "all", I mean two that I can think of. But, by George, they have stuck in my mind all these years. I have flashbacks of pressure, and yelling, and swearing, and ridiculous expectations. I remember feeling bad for the kids because they were being shamed by the coaches, and sometimes their own parents. It was an experience I vowed to never participate in (either as a child myself, or subject my own children to).

Now, I know many other parents don't share our views of organized sports. I know many of you participated in them yourselves ("and look how great I turned out!"). I know many of your children are participating in sports. And that's fine. Seriously. I'm not judging you about it. Honestly, do what works for you and your kids! I'm just saying it's not for us. Right now.

The kid takes gymnastic lessons. For us, the difference is the lack of competition. It's about becoming stronger, more flexible, increasing his focus and self-discipline, and developing his own personal skills. There is no goal that has to be scored or shame to be had when another kid outruns you. The only person he is competing against is himself. And that is a lesson I want him to learn. I want him to compete against his own best, not strive towards some one else's. I want him to be internally motivated, not externally. And we don't feel like team sports help him achieve that goal. At least right now.

(Also, I know there are good coaches out these who don't belittle or shame kids. I'm thankful for them. But, still, competitive sports aren't gonna happen in our family. For now.)

And that is why my kid, even though his Poppa is a PE teacher, doesn't play sports.

Today's lesson: Apparently if you really want to get spam comments about er.ectile dys.function medications, you should write a post and call it "head injuries". It will get you loads of them. Promise. And that is a useful lesson, folks.

1 comment:

Camille Griffiths said...

I completely understand where you're coming from! My husband and I are not too keen on organized sports. We never liked playing them when we were kids, and don't particularly want our daughter to. Of course, if she wants to try it, we will let her. But we're not going to "put her in it early" as many people advise us. I'd rather her try out dance, gymnastics, swimming, etc. first. I try to tell people I'm not against it, it's just not for us, but everyone seems quite passionate about it. As if it's NECESSARY for a well-rounded kid. It's nice to know we're not alone in our opinion. :)

That is an unfortunate lesson LOL!