Awww… so cute and soft and cuddly! At what point is it we look at this sweet innocent little face and ask this little man or sweet little girl, to entertain us by running as fast as they can bumping, banging, pushing or falling into another person, and then encouraging them to chase a ball.
Here’s a game…a game of risk, a game of challenge. How about 10,000 children run all over a field and it is promised that each of you at some point (and you never know when) will get your head clobbered…could be hard enough to ‘ring your bell’, maybe hard enough to be carried out on a stretcher but either way it will happen and probably many times. But the reward is that 6 out of the 10,000 on the field will have a shot at playing with other Pro’s; 7 figure income, huge homes, and nice clothes. Oh, and more than likely it will leave lasting behavioral changes; inappropriate responses to people, easily angered, more likely to take risks, can’t think things through, depressed, and possibly can’t keep a job because you may not be able to think ahead or remember details.
The clincher is, as a society we are encouraging our babies to grow to be aggressive, competitive sports players on the .06% chance that they may succeed into a Pro athlete. The other 9,994 people that tried as hard as they could now are failing school, because they are inattentive (that happens with ‘head bonks’) and are acting out in class, even being mean (they just saw their Mom fighting with another parent at their game last night! Oh by the way, the practice for these games, for an 11 year old is from 6:30-9:00 pm every Tuesday & Thursday night, meaning interrupted sleep which leads to less Prefrontal Cortex access. Every weekend games and very little down time to relax much less do their homework. So they are growing up in a very fast paced, anxiety-driven, competitive life. It is no wonder our children are the most medicated group of Americans, for anxiety and focus.
Did you know 1.3 million children sustained injuries bad enough to land them in the hospital last year and all under the guise of playing a ‘game’. It was also documented that 1 child every 3 minutes was seen for a sports-related concussion! The group ‘Safe Kids Worldwide’ reported that 1 in 5 kids that go to ER are going for a Sports related injury. *http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/06/injuries-athletes-kids-sports/2612429/
This report also stated
* Football resulted in both the highest number of all pediatric injuries (394,350) and the highest concussion rate (40 per 10,000 athletes). Wrestling and cheer-leading had the second- and third-highest concussion rates (15 per 10,000 athletes and 12 per 10,000 athletes, respectively).
* Ice hockey had the highest percentage (31%) of concussion injuries; its rate was 10 per 10,000 athletes.
* The most common injuries were to the ankle (15%), followed by head (14%) finger (12%), knee (9%) and face (7%).
I can understand the ‘draw’ to competition and the need to ‘live on’ through your child, I have two children myself, and got caught up in the social aspect of travel soccer. But now we are in an age of knowledge, it seems parents might reconsider ‘forfeiting’ their child’s school performance and future for a chance at playing a Sport now. It is well known exercise in important and vital to growth, however, competitive, aggressive contact sports are unnecessary for any human development. As Beth Silverberg states in this video, we are creating new gladiators, and all for our entertainment. http://youtu.be/TYhvWmyUrts
What gift do you really want to give your child to live with as an adult?