Back in the day when I taught grade 5, and you happened to be a 1o year old boy in my class, chances were you played hockey. I had more hockey sticks leaning in the corner by the door than you could shake a stick at. Did you catch that; “shake a stick at!”
Where I taught and maybe it was the location, each of the young fellas seemed to play at a rep level. I remember one young kid, who played on a high level rep team in Toronto that had off ice training sessions(i.e. the gym) – 12 months a year.
This was for 10 year olds – all year long!!
Starting in September, and all winter it was hockey practices two or three times a week, with games and tournaments each weekend. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but at sometime during the season and usually after the mid-point, you’d hear the inevitable comment from many of my student’s parents, “hockey, hockey, hockey, when do we have time for ourselves.”
I really don’t want to get into a big discussion on balance; I had enough of those back in the day. I fully understand the benefits of competitive sports, both team and individual pursuits can bring to the lives of youth. Most parents I interacted with understood the need for equilibrium between family, school and sports; living- a balanced approach and that sometimes 10 year olds just need to be 10 year olds and not “sports agency client prospects.”
However, I did have the odd one, who’s child was going to be the next Connor McDavid or Austin Matthews. I’m sorry to report, major junior hockey scouts didn’t see the same thing their parents did.
Anyhow, enough of my rant.
This is a great article from Outside Magazine (on-line) – Don’t Let Youth Sports Hijack Your Life
Although the article is from the States, I think it resonates here in Canada as well.
Enjoy – and would love to hear your experiences.