Why Recreation Sports?
When talking to parents in our community, I often get asked the question: Why should my child participate in recreation sports? There are countless reasons, and sometimes, I have no idea where to start! I never find myself answering the question with “winning first place” or “making the all-star team.” Instead, I find myself talking more about the life lessons the kids learn, and the memories they build, but oddly, many parents are still opposed to recreation sports for various reasons.
“My child is not good enough,” is one of the most common reasons that a parent might believe recreation sports are not for their child. Let’s think about this for a minute. What does it really mean to be “good enough?” Are we judging him against Freddie Freeman at 6 years old, or maybe it’s comparing her playing skills as a 10 year-old to Jenny Finch? As a parent, you should try to move away from this type of thinking because kids shouldn’t be judged against some bar that we as parents believe they should achieve. We should hope for them to improve at the sport each year, and the best way for them to improve is to actually have them play!
Another reason that I get from parents about their kids not participating in recreation sports is that the sports in this type of league are not competitive enough; The parents don’t feel their kids are being challenged, but I have to ask the question: Is the goal to get the kids drafted at 12 years old? Probably not. Did you know that roughly 1 in 2,200 kids who play organized baseball get drafted? Of those that get drafted, only a small percentage make it to “the show.” Think about that for a minute.
There are many lessons to be gained such as not quitting, teamwork, sportsmanship, giving it your all, and learning to lose, but where else does a 6 year-old have to be a contributing part of a team? How many times in life is teamwork important? Where else can an 8 year-old get the sense of accomplishment they get by showing Nana they received the game ball? In life it’s also important to know what it feels like to lose. It teaches you to try harder, and if you gave it your best, it teaches you it’s going to be alright if you come up just short. In addition to the lessons, it gives kids some of the greatest memories of their lives. I can still tell you details about my TBall games that many years ago. I also made lifelong friends as well as enjoyed every minute of playing. I owe it all to recreation sports.