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Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:49

Sports as a microcosm of society at age 9

Several weeks ago, I shared some memories of summers in the days before youth sports exploded into a nearly mandatory way of life and I had a great response from people who remembered, as the great sports fan Barbra Streisand sang, 'the way we were.'

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:28

Youth sports: parent education

I'm lucky to live in a community that fosters kids' athletics. When it comes to fall sports, kids in Bucksport area schools are spoiled for choice. Last Saturday, when I brought my daughter to youth soccer, I arrived to a smorgasbord of activities: a high school cross country track meet, an elementary boys' football game and elementary boys' and girls' soccer scrimmages. Every track, field and nature trail that was available saw play.

This Saturday was no different. Kids climbed out of minivans with shin guards or shoulder pads, water bottles and cleats. They swarmed the fields like little Olympians. Parents lined the perimeter, some in lawn chairs, others leaning over the fence with purpose, but all were rallied around their kids. As a teacher whose interaction with parents is limited to yearly open house visits, to see this outpouring of parental support just knocks me back.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 13:21

More is not necessarily better

You only need to stroll down the cereal aisle at your local Hannaford to come to the realization that we have more choices than ever before about virtually everything in our lives. A mere generation ago a coffee was a coffee; your options were black and regular, and the idea of a grande mocha latte was as futuristic as the space cars the Jetsons drove. Today we are faced with a myriad of selections everywhere from food to the 500-channel television universe, and 'coffee shops' now have a menu larger than most restaurants of my youth.

Few areas of our lives have seen as exponential a growth in opportunities as youth sports and, much like what you see surfing through your cable choices, that isn't always a good thing. The other day I saw a sign advertising a new a baseball league for 4- and 5-year-olds. Surely that has to be a sign of an impending apocalypse. Here in 21st century America, if you're not playing organized sports by the time you've grown out of your Pull-Ups, you're behind the eight ball.

When I was four my athletic pursuits consisted of running from bumble bees, kicking cans and jumping up and down on my bed. Of course, that may be why my pro career never materialized. Had I only been in an organized league, with my name on my uniform, travelling to Altoona for the national 4-year-old championships, I would now be retired and living off my income from reverse mortgage ads, based on my popularity as a retired superstar athlete.

Published in The Sports Edge

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