Parents’ Misguided Thinking on Sports

I’m linking a pretty good story here about parents’ motives behind having their kids play sports. I agree to some extent with the writer’s argument, that too many parents push their kids so hard in hopes that they will “make it to the big leagues.”

However, I would add that another factor contributes just as much, if not more, to parents’ thought process: college scholarships.

I think many of these parents are trying just as much to get their kid a free ticket to college than they are trying to get them to the big leagues. How do I know? I know because I was in that world for a number of years when my kids were young. I know what parents are saying and thinking.

And this begs a question that I have puzzled over for many years: Wouldn’t you do your kid a much bigger favor helping them strive for an academic scholarship than a sports scholarship? Aren’t the odds much greater for getting an academic scholarship? This is partly a rhetorical question, partly serious, because I don’t truly know the answer. But I have an inkling of the answer.

It just seems to me that you would do your kid a greater favor by having them focus more on academics than sports. That is, if you have to choose one. The lifetime benefits that come with strong academic skills will serve little Jimmy and Susie much better than sports skills that may, or may not, simply get them into college.

I am not by any means suggesting that sports don’t have value. They do. Great interpersonal skills and lifelong relationships result from sports, at the very least. I simply hold the conviction that you would better serve your children by spending your time, money, and other resources on their academics than their sports.

The added bonus, like this story suggests, is that the kids will be able to enjoy their sports much more if their parents aren’t pushing them so hard for ill-advised reasons.

Tell me where I’m wrong? Or right?

Read the story here: The Little League World Series Proves Sports Parents Have It All Wrong.

Leave a Reply