I think things in the Universe have swung seriously out of whack. I have a DS, 7 years old, who is not, in any way, at this point in his life a serious athlete. Maybe some 7 year olds, I have no idea, but my 7 year old is, in every way, a little boy. He likes to fool around, to dabble, to try things. He played soccer for two seasons back at the end of PS and Kindergarten. No big deal. On to bigger and better things...okay, back to soccer now. He wants to play soccer again this spring. We signed right up. We support whatever our kids want to do as long as we can afford it, it's good for them, and it can fit into our family schedule. He wanted to play soccer to be with other kids his own age, to get some fresh air and exercise, no problem. We signed up about a month ago, the season is supposed to start next Saturday, and we still have not heard from the coach. No problem. I know the date it should start. I know the coach is probably a dad out there who has his own life, his own kids to worry about, his own job to worry about. He'll get us the information when he can. This is soccer for 7 year olds, it's fine. Then, today, I get an email. How they got my email address, I can only assume was from the RECREATIONAL LEAGUE we signed up with. Can you tell that makes me a little ticked off? We are being encouraged to sign our 7 YEAR OLD up for training sessions with a professional trainer to supplement and enhance his other training opportunities. These sessions will be held on Sundays (a family day for us--but alas, not much of the rest of the world), so as not to interfere with his games and practices the other days of the week. I am really appalled.
Now, I am not completely a newbie at parenting, as you know. I know that there are more and more pressures on kids to perform, to commit to a sport, to win scholarships. I get that. I watched it with my oldest. But it didn't start in first grade. Actually J's a little old for the program, they like to start them at 6 years old. I think this is crazy. I think this is the reason why kids are quitting sports because they're tired of them not being fun anymore. It's insane that kids feel like they can't try a new sport in 3rd or 4th grade, or even Middle school, because they're way behind, and they'll never catch up to the other kids. I wanted fresh air and sunshine for my kid. A chance to learn the rules, to be with other kids, to have fun. Now I have to worry that by saying no, we're not doing this, I'll be subjecting him to criticism from the coach and other parents that we're not as committed to the team as the other kids. Keep in mind this is a local rec league, it's not a travel league, it's not year round, it's a local 6 week rec league. I really, really worry what we are taking away from our kids, that we can never give them back.