Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS IN YOUTH SPORTS

The New Year is here, and here is my list of the top things that our kids would love for us to resolve:
 No more stats. Come on, just let them play and do their thing without having to worry about their numbers. If they go 0 for 4 at the plate or miss all their free throws, and throw 15 incomplete passes out of 15 attempts, then let it go. They don’t want to know that their scoring average is 12 points a game but today they only got 8 so that now you give them the speech about getting 16 the next game to bring that average back up. They don’t want to know if they are where they were last year, or how they are doing in comparison to your friends’ son. Let it go.
 No more recapping the game on the ride home. Did you know that most kids hate that? That ride home is to be about affirming some of the good things or just singing to the radio.
 No more screaming at the refs. You wouldn’t want to be embarrassed by the way your kids act in public, so maybe you should practice what you preach.
 No more building their car for the next soap box derby. They want to build the car on their own and if every kid did that they would all have the same chance of winning. Who cares if their tires aren’t perfectly round or the air-o-dynamics aren’t the way an engineer dad with a masters degree would have done it. Who cares if their wheels fall off before it hits the finish line? Isn’t that part of learning? They learn from it and figure it out for the next race.
 No more building their science project. Let them build their own volcano, or their own space rocket.
 No more forcing them to play one sport in hopes that their specialization will get them that college scholarship.
 No more daily conversations with their coach to try to win “brownie” points for more playing time.
 No more being the big “team-donor” to win “brownie points to gain more playing time.
 No more “F bombs” in front of the kids. How about going back to what your mom always told you: “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all”.
 No more daily private, professional training. Instead how about a little of love in the backyard with a game of one on one soccer for fun with dad, or a quick game of “h-o-r-s-e” on the driveway, or playing catch in the backyard. Then maybe the occasional private, professional lessons won’t be so grueling.
 No more over the top regulations for training purposes. Going to the late movies on a Friday night after throwing down a large pizza would be so much fun. Oh yeah, a big glass of soda pop would be a blast too. Don’t forget the large bag of popcorn during the movie!
 No more dinners on the run seven nights a week. How about a calm dinner at home with moms good ol’ home cooking with everyone sitting around the table listening to mom and dad’s funny stories from all the dumb things they did when they were kids.
 No more being 5 minutes early for every practice. How about a little more relaxed atmosphere, even showing up late because the conversation at dinner was so good. Or even miss a practice once because they have to stay home and work on their volcano science project.
Let’s make this a fun year for the kids….
If you have questions or comments for Tom Kuyper, email him at: tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com

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