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View Full Version : OT: Anyone's child play football?


jrandtysmom
07-17-2008, 07:07 PM
My son starts youth football next week and thru the month of August they practice M-F for 2hrs a night.....he is 6! Does this seem a little excessive to anyone else or am I just being a mom? I know once they get in high school they practice everyday but I didn't know till after I signed him up what the schedule would be. After school starts they practice 2 nights a week and play every Saturday, which is fine but the everyday seems a little much at 6-7 yrs old, especially in the August heat.

kc5grw
07-17-2008, 07:23 PM
I agree. That sounds excessive. At that age it should be fun. 2 hours practice a day isn't fun. Many adults get way to gung ho with young kids and competitive sports.

auntie
07-17-2008, 08:25 PM
My son plays lacrosse, his coach has called about his playing in a summer league..which he really doesn't want to do, and another league that two alumni are coaching.
I mean he likes it...he's good at it. He enjoys playing during the season..and even practicing pre season..only he's NOT going to be a professional Lacrosse player, and we can live with that. We figure we do enough of this type of thing during the school year, he wants a break over the summer. I'm fine with that. Plus..he's got a part time job that keeps him busy.

I have relatives that have their son in THREE different baseball leagues. They run during the same time. The child is not allowed to go to the pool, or to the beach on days that he has games...because his father thinks it tires him out. The kid is 10! The game is supposed to be fun, but they are a chore for the boy. You would think that between the games, the practices, and the private pitching lessons the kid would be slim. Only they're not. Pretty overweight, which they play off as his being "big" right now. Only he wasn't able to play with kids in his own age group, because he weighed too much during "football season"..last fall. They rest up during the day...playing video games and eating, so they're not tired to pitch at night. Then they get home at 10:00..(yes 10 year olds play under the lights) and eat dinner.
Sounds healthy, huh? It's NUTS. They don't take a vacation because they can't miss baseball, and his father also coaches two of the teams. Dad is re-living his love of the game through his son.
My son says he sees kids like this all the time in high school. Kids that are so played out by the time high school sports come along, they don't want any part of it. I can see from the experience in my own family how that would happen.
I really think that the line between participation, and doing something fun and healthy is being blurred. Moderation is the key. I don't envy young parents facing this now. It almost seems to me like a competition between parents, and the entire social aspect of the leagues rather than a simple game for some kids to play, and have fun.
Off soap box...sorry you didn't ask for all that, but it's just something that's been going on with some family members and when I saw your post..it set me off.
Participation is a wonderful thing, and they learn more than the skills required for their particular sport..but lately it just seems to be very competitive at younger and younger ages. Makes me wonder what happend to the days, when a kid had a practice or two and maybe a game once a week.

jrandtysmom
07-17-2008, 08:35 PM
My son plays lacrosse, his coach has called about his playing in a summer league..which he really doesn't want to do, and another league that two alumni are coaching.
I mean he likes it...he's good at it. He enjoys playing during the season..and even practicing pre season..only he's NOT going to be a professional Lacrosse player, and we can live with that. We figure we do enough of this type of thing during the school year, he wants a break over the summer. I'm fine with that. Plus..he's got a part time job that keeps him busy.

I have relatives that have their son in THREE different baseball leagues. They run during the same time. The child is not allowed to go to the pool, or to the beach on days that he has games...because his father thinks it tires him out. The kid is 10! The game is supposed to be fun, but they are a chore for the boy. You would think that between the games, the practices, and the private pitching lessons the kid would be slim. Only they're not. Pretty overweight, which they play off as his being "big" right now. Only he wasn't able to play with kids in his own age group, because he weighed too much during "football season"..last fall. They rest up during the day...playing video games and eating, so they're not tired to pitch at night. Then they get home at 10:00..(yes 10 year olds play under the lights) and eat dinner.
Sounds healthy, huh? It's NUTS. They don't take a vacation because they can't miss baseball, and his father also coaches two of the teams. Dad is re-living his love of the game through his son.
My son says he sees kids like this all the time in high school. Kids that are so played out by the time high school sports come along, they don't want any part of it. I can see from the experience in my own family how that would happen.
I really think that the line between participation, and doing something fun and healthy is being blurred. Moderation is the key. I don't envy young parents facing this now. It almost seems to me like a competition between parents, and the entire social aspect of the leagues rather than a simple game for some kids to play, and have fun.
Off soap box...sorry you didn't ask for all that, but it's just something that's been going on with some family members and when I saw your post..it set me off.
Participation is a wonderful thing, and they learn more than the skills required for their particular sport..but lately it just seems to be very competitive at younger and younger ages. Makes me wonder what happend to the days, when a kid had a practice or two and maybe a game once a week.

I agree with you completely and don't mind the soap box. :) I have friends that sound just like your family. Their kids play on 2 different baseball leagues, one regular and one travel. The kids can't go to the pool or anything on the day of practice and definately not on a day of a game - and that's a team rule, not just the dad (but the dad is a coach). It sounded crazy to me when she told me but she just goes along with it. I told my son he could play because he really wants to play with his friends but what do you do as a parent who is outnumbered by these other parents who are living out their dreams of being a sports star through their kids and obviously see no problem with it. I just want my kids to have fun, get some exercise, make friends and learn about different activities but these people seem a little over the top (and they aren't the only league around here that is this way). If I don't let my son play, then he is disappointed that he didn't get to play a sport but geez. Thanks for the response!

I played softball from the time I was 8 all through high school and loved it but we had like you said, one or maybe 2 practices a week at first and then we just played games, didn't really have practice after the games started until high school. Then we practiced every day but I was older and could handle it. I think if I had practiced everyday and played on 2 or 3 different leagues at one time growing up I would've grown to hate the sport.

auntie
07-17-2008, 08:43 PM
For football, we found a touch football league that was through our town, that was pretty much just for fun and he'd go that route. Baseball we went with PAL (Police Athletic League) because again, it was fun, and not as competitive. If it's too hot..they cancel the game. I mean we're talking little kids here..who most of the time would sit down in the field if they got tired! It was cute. Only I have seen the change, and how competitive these sports have become. It's ridiculous at such a young age...I don't envy you. I guess if you go with it, you have to just keep it in perspective, and not let it take over your life.

I've seen these kids not be able to go on vacations because of ball games or practices. My husband often says, "what are they going to remember when they're older?" Other than being rushed from one field to another. They don't just go out and play..ride a bike or go to the park. It's always a scheduled activity or a "play date". The term makes me sick. Now I know there are areas and neighborhoods where that is what you need to do. Only these kids live in an area that has sidewalk and neighbors that they could ride their bikes to. There's no reason they can't play outside and have some fun. Kick ball, tag, sprinklers, pools. Nope..it's strictly baseball. I think its sad. They'll have plenty of time to devote to that when they're older if that's what they..not their parents choose to do.

Momof626x3
07-17-2008, 09:06 PM
Wow 2 hours a night for a 6 year old is excessive! I guess the best thing to do is just watch your son and make sure he is enjoying himself and having fun with the practices. Our soccer league (a town RECREATION league) holds one practice and 2 games a week. Not too bad...but they NEVER cancel a game for anything but lightning. Kids ages 4 and up are out in the freezing cold and blazing heat, rain or shine. So when it was 98 degrees with oppressive humidity and they STILL didn't cancel the game I just kept my 9 year old home anyway. It wasn't worth his health to play a game. I prefer our town baseball league which is WAY more laid back. 2 games a week and no practices for my 6 year old. They learn and practice by playing the game. And I have no problem skipping a couple of games so we can go camping! This isn't a job it's supposed to be FUN! I also have a friend that thinks they need to get their son to every game and practice, even if the poor kid is sick. Kids need down time too!

AuburnJen92
07-17-2008, 09:25 PM
being a coach and this is his first year (don't scream at me...) i would think that they are that long to teach them the game...

i don't personally condone that long for such youngin's, as i work my softball girls 2 1/2 hrs a day, but they are in HS

jrandtysmom
07-17-2008, 09:35 PM
being a coach and this is his first year (don't scream at me...) i would think that they are that long to teach them the game...

i don't personally condone that long for such youngin's, as i work my softball girls 2 1/2 hrs a day, but they are in HS

I definately understand high school. Most kids in HS have played the sport they are playing before and know what is expected, I just didn't expect this at 6. I'm afraid of how competitive it will become. My son attends a private school which does not have much of an athletic program so these outside leagues are the only chance he has at playing organized sports. I guess I'll just see what happens once we start. I'm sure it is for learning purposes but how long is the attention span of most 6 yr olds anyways? :rotfl:

Jen - your a softball coach - that's awesome! I miss playing and wish I could find a league around here to play again but all the co-ed one's I've found are made up of company teams but most leagues are all men leagues (including our church league) :mad:

Gatordad
07-17-2008, 09:36 PM
being a coach and this is his first year (don't scream at me...) i would think that they are that long to teach them the game...

i don't personally condone that long for such youngin's, as i work my softball girls 2 1/2 hrs a day, but they are in HS

I noticed your record.... you should have practiced 4 hours a day.

auntie
07-17-2008, 09:37 PM
being a coach and this is his first year (don't scream at me...) i would think that they are that long to teach them the game...

i don't personally condone that long for such youngin's, as i work my softball girls 2 1/2 hrs a day, but they are in HS

I would think that for high school..that would be expected. I know when my son plays during Lacrosse season he isn't home before 6:30 at night. Either practice or games, and he leaves at 7:00 in the morning. That's a pretty long day. Then it's homework and dinner after that..so I just don't blame him when he wants to take it a little lighter for the summer.
I'd worry about the attention span of a 6 year old to go with 2 1/2 hour practices. Even if it's to teach them the game...I just don't see them getting that much out of it after an hour or so. If I remember 6 year olds..they tend to want to sit on the field or chase butterflies when they see them on the filed! Not to mention what I like to call the "pee pee wiggles"!:rotfl:

jrandtysmom
07-17-2008, 09:43 PM
I'd worry about the attention span of a 6 year old to go with 2 1/2 hour practices. Even if it's to teach them the game...I just don't see them getting that much out of it after an hour or so. If I remember 6 year olds..they tend to want to sit on the field or chase butterflies when they see them on the filed! Not to mention what I like to call the "pee pee wiggles"!:rotfl:

Yes he just played soccer this spring and that is definately what happened. They practiced one night a week for an hour and played on saturdays for an hour long game. By the end of that hour the kids were done, some were hanging on the goal net, some were sitting down or playing with each other and paying no attention to the game. My son (and I don't just say this because he is mine) had a very competitive spirit, one I had never noticed about him before, and he was very into the game - loved it and wanted to practice everyday but I think it would've became boring to him had he done that. I think the reason he liked it so much is because it wasn't overkill.

AuburnJen92
07-17-2008, 09:49 PM
I noticed your record.... you should have practiced 4 hours a day.

(Clearing throat) your record in little league was only SLIGHTLY better than mine...

I think they should have practiced 6 hours a day...maybe it would have helped...

AuburnJen92
07-17-2008, 09:55 PM
Yes he just played soccer this spring and that is definately what happened. They practiced one night a week for an hour and played on saturdays for an hour long game. By the end of that hour the kids were done, some were hanging on the goal net, some were sitting down or playing with each other and paying no attention to the game. My son (and I don't just say this because he is mine) had a very competitive spirit, one I had never noticed about him before, and he was very into the game - loved it and wanted to practice everyday but I think it would've became boring to him had he done that. I think the reason he liked it so much is because it wasn't overkill.

this is why i said i didn't' condone it...for youngin's i would say an hour tops, but you have coaches out there that think that practicing that long is worthwhile...i have taught 6 year olds in school, we have to change gears every 15-20 minutes...and that is if they are paying attention at the time...

i see in the kids in hs that they are really burnt out by the time they are ready for hs athletics...many of them have injuries that adults have and they cannot be treated in the same manner because of growing bones...an acl injury cannot be treated the same way say Tiger Woods just got done because it would impede growth in the bone...

this type of mentality is also why i won't coach my son in little league...there is also the mentality that since i coach hs ball, i am a threat...this very thing happened to a fellow coach that had a son...she was an assistant coach and did very well to encourage the kiddies, the male coaches got all upset and demoted her to scorekeeper...since she was still coaching while taking score (it is a learned art), they demoted her to the bleachers...she was more patient than me, i would have hurt someone...;)

Gatordad
07-17-2008, 10:00 PM
(Clearing throat) your record in little league was only SLIGHTLY better than mine...

I think they should have practiced 6 hours a day...maybe it would have helped...

well, uhm, ahhh, yeah, but well, yeah we tried.

auntie
07-17-2008, 10:13 PM
this is why i said i didn't' condone it...for youngin's i would say an hour tops, but you have coaches out there that think that practicing that long is worthwhile...i have taught 6 year olds in school, we have to change gears every 15-20 minutes...and that is if they are paying attention at the time...

i see in the kids in hs that they are really burnt out by the time they are ready for hs athletics...many of them have injuries that adults have and they cannot be treated in the same manner because of growing bones...an acl injury cannot be treated the same way say Tiger Woods just got done because it would impede growth in the bone...

this type of mentality is also why i won't coach my son in little league...there is also the mentality that since i coach hs ball, i am a threat...this very thing happened to a fellow coach that had a son...she was an assistant coach and did very well to encourage the kiddies, the male coaches got all upset and demoted her to scorekeeper...since she was still coaching while taking score (it is a learned art), they demoted her to the bleachers...she was more patient than me, i would have hurt someone...;)

You are so RIGHT! Especially in regards to their growing bones and injuries.
Let me tell you, my son..who is a pretty good athlete..also spent three months in a body cast after being hit by a car when he was three. THEN he had to learn to walk again. Soo...all this nutty stuff with sports, well to me, I'm glad my kid lived and can walk and run. I am truly thankful and amazed at his recovery to be the normal kid he is today at 17. So when I see all this competition in regards to childrens sports..it just makes me want to shake a parent and tell them..JUST LET YOUR KID HAVE FUN! Be happy that they are just ON the field, period. The kid in my family that is now having his arm iced..and resting for the game at night..I have to wonder ...What are these kids going to be like when they're older. Jeeze the kid needs an arm his whole life, and he's not likely..I mean as much as we'd even like to believe..gonna be a professional ball player. He should be playing because he loves the game. Only this kids father wanted to play proffesionally..and well, he didn't make that dream come true. Now he wants to live it through his son. I don't even think the kid likes the game that much. He wanted his dad to ride bikes to park with him (where they were gonna practice) and his dad got mad at him, because that would tire him out, and he wouldn't be able to pitch that well. WHAT is the matter with that kind of thinking. Jeeze, get on a bike and go riding with your kid.

___________________

AuburnJen92
07-18-2008, 09:57 AM
These days, unfortunately, the parents live through the kids. They think that if the kid gets a scholarship, then they are guaranteed money in the pros. Only 1% of the college kids get any kind of money, so if you look at it, you are more likely to be hit by lightning than to have a pro star as a son or daughter.

Here are the stats: 1% of all HS athletes go to Div I schools on a full scholarship and of that one percent, the top 1% percent of that group goes on to pro careers that are lucrative...

Parents don't want to hear that...

auntie
07-18-2008, 01:19 PM
I hear exactly what you're saying. I can't tell you how many conversations I've heard on the field between parents stating precisely what you've said.

The child I'm concerned about in our family is practicing for hours each day added to that private pitching lessons.(from the time he was 7..give me a break). There is never ONE day that he isn't practicing or playing baseball. Not one. Makes me wonder what kind of shape the kids arm is going to be in by the time he's an adult. Is it worth it..for that less than 1% chance he's gonna be a pro? He's already been to an orthopedist twice..he's 10.
Also..not to be mean..the kid just isn't exceptional...he has played better than most his age..when he was 6 or 7, but now that he's reached 10 going on 11..it's starting to even out, and the kids that haven't had all this private piticing, and intensive practicing are catching up and playing just as well. I think this makes the father even MORE deternined that his son will be better, and works the kid even harder. It's just a disaster in the making. I wish the dad could just take a step back, and look at the situation realistically..and with a bit more clarity. Only he isn't looking out for his son..he's really re-living his youth..and his love and passion for the game through his child. Hoping that his son will make it as a pro. That's a whole lot of pressure for a 10 year old.

jrandtysmom
07-18-2008, 01:47 PM
I hear exactly what you're saying. I can't tell you how many conversations I've heard on the field between parents stating precisely what you've said.

The child I'm concerned about in our family is practicing for hours each day added to that private pitching lessons.(from the time he was 7..give me a break). There is never ONE day that he isn't practicing or playing baseball. Not one. Makes me wonder what kind of shape the kids arm is going to be in by the time he's an adult. Is it worth it..for that less than 1% chance he's gonna be a pro? He's already been to an orthopedist twice..he's 10.
Also..not to be mean..the kid just isn't exceptional...he has played better than most his age..when he was 6 or 7, but now that he's reached 10 going on 11..it's starting to even out, and the kids that haven't had all this private piticing, and intensive practicing are catching up and playing just as well. I think this makes the father even MORE deternined that his son will be better, and works the kid even harder. It's just a disaster in the making. I wish the dad could just take a step back, and look at the situation realistically..and with a bit more clarity. Only he isn't looking out for his son..he's really re-living his youth..and his love and passion for the game through his child. Hoping that his son will make it as a pro. That's a whole lot of pressure for a 10 year old.


Sounds like the father is living out his fantasy of being a pro through the son. Sad but so often true and like you said, by the time he is even in high school his arm will be worn out - so forget about the pros! I played softball from a child on up and I pitched. My arm was worn out so I switched to outfield. Not to brag but I had a really good arm, I could throw the ball from dead center field and hit home plate without a problem - until one day I threw the ball to get someone out trying to take home plate and the ball went straight up in the air, my elbow popped and everyone grimaced because they knew it wasn't good. I had Tendonitis in my elbow and it ruined my senior year. I had a coach from the college I was looking at tell me that if I hadn't hurt my elbow they would've taken me on a scholarship but I was a risk now.