Wednesday, September 3, 2014

In the NYTimes: There’s No Off in This Season: Team Sports Are Taking Over Kids’ Lives


There’s No Off in This Season: Team Sports Are Taking Over Kids’ Lives

In The New York Times

When my daughters were young, they had a book we all loved called “Jump into January.” Every month was illustrated with a search-and-find painting filled with seasonal items. August’s was “Sail into August / come along with me / That sand is soft, the sea is warm / What can you see?” Items included a sailboat, shovel, crab, hammock, surfboard and sand castle.
Have a teenager these days? You’d be lucky to see a sand castle in August. Instead, you’re probably spending most of your month schlepping to tryouts, hauling to two-a-day practices, scheduling around mandatory workouts and letting yet another extracurricular activity encroach on once-sacred family time. The youth sports juggernaut, fueled by breathless cable networks, corporate sponsors and power-hungry leagues, is gradually colonizing more and more time: weeknights, weekends, religious holidays and now vacations.
Warning: Gatorade doesn’t go with s’mores.
Recently, I spoke with the patriarch of a large family who spent a year arranging a once-in-a-lifetime vacation with his children and grandchildren. The families coordinated schedules, booked plane tickets and paid for hotels, then my friend’s 15-year-old granddaughter was told there were mandatory soccer tryouts at her Manhattan school; if she didn’t show up she wouldn’t be eligible. She skipped the trip (and still didn’t make the team).

Read it all HERE

Team sports are taking over kids lives in The New York Times