It all starts at about 5 months (gestation), you feel that pain in the gut and someone (usually your damn husband) says “wow, I think you’ve got a soccer player in there”. Chances are, he’s right. Nearly every kid, will be involved in youth sports to some degree and if you play your cards right, s/he will reap innumerable benefits including, but not limited to fitness, friendships, confidence and a sports minded lifestyle. Unfortunately, the family unit will be cursed with a few losses, mostly monetary.
This blog is meant to provide a bit of insight to parents everywhere with mini-athletes who need to find the right programs at the right time to make your athlete happy and healthy.
All my kids are and have been involved in organized sports (an oxymoron at the younger ages) and physical activities at every level. I am finally (after years of head scratching, bad decisions, and blind luck) wrapping my head around the ins and outs, the politics, the 47 different routes you can take in each sport, and most of all, the joys of participation. My friends are nearly all parents of little athletes, too, and we are constantly discussing it. Uh oh……this is kind of pathetic, apparently all my other friends dumped me over the years after constantly being away at a tournament in “fill in any major non-fun city” watching my kid kick a soccer ball or jump over a rope for 60 seconds. Hmmm…just noticed that today, rats….must get my life back soon.
My kids have been in soccer, t-ball, , swim team, volleyball, horseback riding, lacrosse, volleyball, Competitive jump roping, track, softball, gymnastics, tumbling, basketball, cross country, ballet, roller hockey, baseball, personal training, and math tutoring (oh wait…..that one might not count).
I’ve mostly survived (so far):
40 seasons of soccer (rec and competitive)
5 years of horseback riding
8 seasons of basketball
6 swim team summers
3 seasons of hockey
5 years of gymnastics and tumbling
4 years of competitive jumprope
3 or less seasons of the rest (volleyball, t-ball, baseball, lacrosse, ballet, track)
Okay, I think I’ve just given away our bias….yes ‘SOCCER is our life’, but it’s never just soccer, there’s always more, more and more.
Now before you go calling social services about my proclivity to torture kids 24 hrs/day or about the crazy cat lady who has unfortunately substituted kids for cats and has 30 kids living in the basement, let me explain. I’ve had a lot of kids (mine, step, and foster, a total of 13) who've played over the years, and I have one particular kid now (mine) who is a sports fanatic; she has wanted to do everything, at every level…..so with that in mind please put down the phone.