Heaven knows I love to attend presentations, lectures, and panel discussions covering topics that might help me be a better parent, wife, friend, daughter, and/or all around person. I am immensely grateful that local organizations like the YWCA Parent Awareness and our own supply a steady of stream of programs that cover a wide range of topics from managing social media to protecting the emotional lives of boys. While not every program is applicable to every parent, I do believe the next panel discussion presented by the YWCA Parent Awareness, “Why are Youth Sports so INTENSE and Specialized?,“ is extremely relevant to any parent who has a child who participates in any sport.
I am going out on a limb here, but I bet the presentation title could easily be renamed: “Why are Parents Making Youth Sports so INTENSE and Specialized for their Children?”. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of children are not born with a razor sharp competitive edge and would simply play a sport for the sheer enjoyment derived from it.
I know that as an adult that is the main reason I choose to play sports. I dust off my golf clubs each Memorial Day for the summer not because I think I will actually find some consistency in my swing, but because I enjoy spending time with my family and friends outdoors strolling around a beautiful golf course (ultimately searching for my lost ball…) Likewise, there is nothing I enjoy more than doubles tennis but regardless if I win or (more likely) lose a club tournament, the reason I play is to enjoy the camaraderie and friendly competition the tournament provides.
A very small percentage of kids will go on to play sports at a college level (let alone get a scholarship to do so) and from those kids a ridiculously small percentage of them will ever go on to play professional sports. Given these odds, should we not be emphasizing the importance of enjoying sports?
The YWCA Parent Awareness “Why are Youth Sports so INTENSE and Specialized?" panel discussion is next Tuesday April 10 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the