“It’s supposed to be fun…”

2014-07-15 12.47.14“It’s supposed to be fun”

As kids, during sporting events, we can all recall hearing this. Remember? After losses, coaches and parents would always remind us this: “it’s just a game, it’s supposed to be fun!”

The sad reality is, I look around at the kids now and it doesn’t look like one OUNCE of fun. I see 7, 8, and 9 year olds having the pressures of grown men bestowed upon their small-framed shoulders. Their underdeveloped bodies and minds are just learning of this world and already it’s forcefully instilled in them, it’s PRESSURE and losing is UNACCEPTABLE. If your not the best or do not win, you are insignificant here on planet earth….

Parents and coaches seem to lose sight of the sole purpose of athletics; learning teamwork and building a strong work ethic.

From what I can see from 5 years of being a speed and strength trainer is this:

*Parents MAKING their kids play.

*Athletics being more important to the parent than the kid.

*Parents spending unreasonable amounts of money for the best training, the best gear, and the most elite tournaments, not to mention travel costs (gas, food, hotel, etc) to give their kid exposure. (Exposure? They just learned to tie their damn shoes!)

*Kids trying to have fun but being robbed of that by people who probably didn’t amount to what THEY wanted to athletically. Yeah, you got that right…..Vicariously living through children. Pathetic. Inexcusable.

It makes me want to grab these parents up by their shirt collars and teach them a lesson. But that wouldn’t teach them or the kids ANYTHING. So, I refrain. I watch. I try to be the calm, peaceful force amongst poor mannered, temperamental, and embarrassing grown men and women that put so much energy and stock into their child’s athletic “career.”

Let’s get rigorously honest. How many professional athletes are there? 18,000 in the USA is the approximation. That seems like a lot. It’s not. At all. It’s estimated that there are 4 million athletes JUST in the USA. 18,000 out of 4 million. So, even if you want it REAL bad for your kid, the chances and percentages that stare you in the face don’t lie.

Would I ever discourage a kid from pushing himself and putting everything he has into becoming the best he can be? Absolutely not. Athletics teach individuals how much they can endure, how hard work does pay off, and how being a teammate sometimes means not being the shining star. Do I agree every kid deserves a trophy every single time? No. Learning how to lose is vital to human development.

Life lessons. Yes. Many, many invaluable life lessons can be learned from athletics.

But the one gleaming reality I see is that kids are no longer allowed to be kids. What happened to capture the flag? Catching fireflies?  Racing homemade boats in the creek? Freeze tag? Pick up wiffle ball, backyard football, and playground basketball? Why is it all so SERIOUS?  Why is so much emphasis placed on forcing these boys and girls to be men and women far before they’re ready?

I ask you to please, let your kid be a kid. Life is short and time really does fly. Pressure and obligation is waiting for all of us but for 10 years of life, it should be carefree and FUN.

“It’s supposed to be fun!” Adults, coaches, parents, this message is to YOU. I hope this hits a direct shot to the CENTER OF YOUR HEART. I hope you consider that every person only gets ONE childhood. HOW DARE YOU TAKE THAT AWAY……#BzBe13

Strength and blessings.

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One thought on ““It’s supposed to be fun…”

  1. So very well said…I could not agree more. It is so sad when a child is molded to think that being the best and winning is most important. My own children were effected by this behavior and it stripped them of their ability to feel confident when playing any sport. They think they have to be the best and if they are not they are embarrassed and refuse to participate. Life is short and childhood is even shorter. Great post Shawn!

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