Ever heard of Toddlers and Tiara’s?…Yup, that is where I am going with this post.
My husband and brother law coach a pee wee football team of five year olds, and on any given day and I can’t help but feel as though they are reliving their youthful days on the football field through these babies. The Mr. is at the park five days a week between coaching his team and taking my son to practice. On one hand, I appreciate the Mr.’s dedication to some of the young men on the team who don’t have a father figure. For these boys he serves as a mentor and a coach. While I would like him home at a decent hour at least two nights out of the week, I understand and support his dedication to the boys on the team. However, my concern is that they are pushing a little too hard for this age group. It is my thought that at the age of five, organized sports stands as a medium through which they are introduced to the concepts of teamwork, sportsmanship and hard work. I do not believe a large amount of pressure needs to be placed on winning at this point in their lives. They will spend the majority of their lives competing for one thing or another, and I think it is our job to protect their innocence for as long as we can.
Mommy’s sweet face offensive line tight end
Mommy’s bruiser…Let’s go Wolfpack, let’s go!!
I told the Mr. I thought they were going a little hard on them and that if they want to compete on that level they should probably try to coach an older group of boys next year. The Mr. responds that football teaches them the basics of life (?) and discipline. Whatever..I asked him if he thought half of the boys on the team actually loved football or were they solely out there because their fathers were on the field yelling at referees and slapping helmets on a good play. He says yes..I say..ugh not so much. I believe our children to a certain extent are predisposed to be interested in the things we like to make us happy, but does that really mean they want to do it. My son is playing football this year and he really doesn’t seem interested. I will give him one more year and if not we will try another sport.
Am I overreacting, should children be learning the importance of competing to win at such an early age, or should they be allowed to have fun without the pressure of winning while learning the importance of sportsmanship and the basics of the game? At what age is serious competition welcomed?