Why We Really Put Our Kids in Sports
When my youngest son finished second at his first-ever cross-country meet, I nearly wept with joy. After years of club soccer and dabbling in lacrosse, baseball, and basketball, my 13-year-old kid was competing in my sport—the one I’d been doing for almost 35 years—and succeeding. What could be better?
As his season progressed, I became keenly interested in his races, split times, and personal records. I helped as a course monitor for local meets, so I could watch his races more closely. When he finished a race, my first question was, “What was your time?” I already knew the answer, of course, having used a stopwatch to track his performance, which I would religiously check later against the state rankings for middle school cross-country.
In other words, I had become one of those parents.
If you’ve spent any time around youth sports, as a kid or as an adult, you probably know what I mean by those parents: the ones who seem overly invested in their children’s ...1