The Wall Street Journal‘s recent story, “Kids Quit the Team for More Family Time,” reminds us of the constantly escalating demands on the time of young people involved in competitive sports. The problem is not just with sports, but can also occur in drama, forensics, music, and other competitive fields, but sports often takes the cake when it comes to demanding a high percentage of a young person’s life.
I’m pleased to see that some people are pushing back. The story focuses on parents who say no, but I know some young people who recognized that if they stuck with a high school team, they wouldn’t be able to attend seminary, mutual, and other church and family events, and decided to push back and say no on their own. Some switch from a sport they would have enjoyed, like basketball or football, to one with more reasonable demands (tennis in my part of the world falls into that category).
Many of us appreciate the opportunities and discipline that competitive sports can bring, but parents and youth should step back and weigh the demands and costs versus the benefits and make wise decisions in light of family, church, and other aspects of life that might be neglected. Tough decisions with no simple answers.
Parents, talk to your kids about sports.