Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Little League Baseball and the dreams of our youth
So my Grantie Bear has made a tournament team. Very exciting. If they go all the way, they could be on ESPN. The coaches assure me that this probably will not happen. The other teams in our area have played together for four to five years and we have had one practice. In our township, this is new, so we are the babies of the league.
This opens up a whole new can of worms that I think we should all discuss. Tournament teams, travel teams, private coaching, all that jazz. Obviously, I am not against it, but where do you draw the line? My sister spent $5,000.00 one summer for her daughter to be on a travel softball team that "promised" scouts to be at the games. She was scouted at one of her high school games. They traveled, spent money on hotels and gas and stuff and at the end of the day, was not quite sure it was worth it.
How much money do you have to spend for your child to get a possible college scholarship in a sport? Do they really need private coaching? Is Little league enough to get them ready for school ball? Tyler played for a school for the first time this year. He learned a lot, and showed the coaches his heart for the game. I think that is key. Heart. Where is your kid's heart in all of this? Are we forcing our dreams onto our kids?
I see those beauty pageant moms with those dressed up, poofed up, fake teeth wearing little girls on the reality shows and want to cry. They are fake tanning, fake hairing, fake teeth wearing little girls with more make-up on than I wear in a week. And I wear make-up every day. Two thousand dollars for a dress they can only wear once? Strutting and shaking things that have yet to grow in? And in the end, every one of them has said they were tired and wanted to go home. The moms have the nerve to say it's for college money. Okay, take the two grand you just spent on costumes and stick that in a college fund. The poor child will make more for college that way than if you spend all that money carting her around to little state pageants. Yikes. Scary, scary stuff.
I try to be very careful to make sure my children want to do what they sign up for. Tatum would sign up for fifteen things a semester if she could. She has done dance, gymnastics, girlscouts and many other things. Nothing has stuck. And that's okay, if she finds something she loves, she will stick with it and I will support her. Tyler and Grant have played baseball for more years than I can count, and they love it. But if they came to me next year and said they did not want to play, that would be okay.
The things we enroll our children in are supposed to enhance their lives, not take over their lives. The tournament team tryouts were just that and Grant made it and we are proud of him. I hope they go far, but in reality, this being their first year, that probably will not happen.
Where do you draw the line in your house about extra curricular activities? Do your kids enjoy what they are doing? Let me know.
God bless you and yours.