Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When does a hobby become work?

When does a hobby become work?  When does a game become a sport?  When do parents lose the ability to enjoy watching their children at play and become obsessed with winning?  If players play, and coaches coach, what are parents responsible for?  I say it is the encouragement of all!  I have coached peewee football on and off for years now and I tell you that it’s getting worse.  Because a child is talented in a sport at the age of 10 does that make him a star or merely athletically talented?  Parents today have convinced their young children that excelling at a sport makes them uniquely talented, above discipline, and above the rules.   Time and again, I hear that as long as little Johnny shows up on game a day, that is all that matters.  As a coach and parent I say, “NO!” I started playing football 25 years ago and the first thing I heard from a coach was “Exhaustion breeds discipline. Get used to being tired”. 

As a star athlete in my youth I can tell you that I didn’t know I was a star until years later. This was due to the fact that no one singled me out.  I worked as hard and ran as much as anyone else on the team and talking back was not an option!  As the years go by parents are worried less about the life lessons that can be taught through sports and more about does my child get to be the star.  Less than 1% of children that play sports will go on to become professional.  I say to the parents, “Relax and enjoy”.  Your children will be done with sports soon enough.  Encourage the life lessons, stop the complaining, and let kids be kids.  Remember, your children will learn more from the way YOU act then they ever will from a coach.  So the next time you start to complain ask yourself, “Is this how I want little Johnny to act?”

Coach Croom

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