Monday, February 28, 2011

For Power or Pleasure

Time and time again we see burnt out athletes by the time they are ages 13-15. Why do we have this constant dropout rate for such promising athletes? Well the answer can stem from many sources; parents, over exposure, life pressures, financial issues, hobby changing, and life experiences. What does this mean for our athlete, this means that at a young age our athlete was exposed to a certain sport which they showed considerable interest, (or no interest at all) parents saw this as an opportunity to get a jump start on their child’s athletic ability. Enrolling their child in as many youth programs as possible, this spells disaster for this athletes future, don’t get me wrong I think starting out children with a sport young is the best idea, but being able to tell the difference between how much the child actually wants to be there verses a parent trying to live through their kids is crucial. Once again I’d hate for this too look like I’m bashing dedicated parents, I want it to be clear that the athlete is my main priority, with this as a physical educator my goal is to instill “Life-Long Fitness and physical activity involvement” and having an athlete burn out before they could reach their prim is one of the saddest things anyone following an athlete can experience. Also when getting into sports we must realize that any sport participation will cause financial issues on any level, and gagging where and how to spend the money is also crucial. Paying 100 dollars a week for your 5 year old to learn to pitch may not be the best financial investment. Rather than later on in life when a child has been able to hone in on the specific sport and the specific position that they enjoy playing spending 100 dollars a week on training would be more proficient. Kids are more often than not pushed to the brink of pleasure to where it just becomes a chore to have to go to softball practice, or play in that basketball game on a Saturday night. Parents and coaches need to recognize the signs of when an athlete is losing interest in a sport that they used to “eat, breath, and live” before it is too late can save a lot of athletes potential. Parents relationships is closely linked to the interest held by the athletes, we want to impress our parents but when the demand becomes too much some parents keep expecting more and more and are blind to the fact that they are being detrimental to their athletes and their performance. Another factor is time, we like to call it Student-Athlete but we all know that when it comes to certain players they are really, Athlete-Students. Just hitting the books to get by and spending all their time on the field or court. As an educator I must realize that yes I want my students to be physically educated and participate in physical activities, but it is just as important as the rest of their subjects and life responsibilities. There must be equality when it comes to sports and studies, with the help of educators, responsible parents, and respectful coaches us as a team could create a new generation of athletes that were born to love sports and continue throughout the rest of their lives! Long live Life-long Physical Fitness!

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