Do Competitive Sports Keep Children On The Right Path?

As a kid I spent my weekends watching my brother play hockey, while my dad coached. I loved hanging out in the stands and cheering him on. My husband had other plans for our son. He wanted to spend the weekends on the slopes. But I put my son in skating lessons anyway, although he really didn’t seem to be interested in playing hockey. At first it was a little disappointing. I believe sports keep children out of trouble, on the right track and teaches them very important life lessons.
Skating didn’t come easy for him, but at age six we agreed he was ready. During the first few games he looked like he was running on the ice and I was afraid he would get discouraged. As time went by we couldn’t believe the improvement and how much he LOVED the game.
Then came, “mom I want to try out for the select team”. I was so proud that he wanted to strive for such an accomplishment, on the other hand my heart broke because I didn’t think he good enough. I also knew that you can’t protect your kids from disappointment or they won’t learn how to handle it as adults. So we let him try out. He went to all the pre-tryouts and a March break hockey camp just to get ready. Then came the tryouts. At the end we were called into a room to find out if he made it. I think my husband and I were more nervous than he was. They started off with some talk about how they love his enthusiasm and he plays with such heart. All I could think was, just get to it, give him the disappointing news already and let’s move on, but OH MY! He made it! He actually made the team. I don’t know who jumped higher us or him.

I worry everyday about his future and what he will make of his life. I always say we are raising adults not kids. We need to teach them lessons that will last a life time, even the hard ones. We can only protect them so much but there are some things they need to figure out on their own even at 7. He is learning to work with other people, disappointment at times and that if he wants to be as great as his idol Sydney Crosby he needs to eat right, get lost of sleep and live a healthy lifestyle. Even though I don’t expect that he will make the NHL (although he does), he could get a hockey scholarship to University. Keeping him on this path is my hope, avoiding the over indulgence of drinking and drugs during the teenage years that I have seen with so many other kids.

Behind every great kid is a mom who thinks she is screwing up.

Comment (1)

  • My son loves hockey and honestly, I love going to see him play in net. I also anticipate what his life will be like when he grows to be a teenager and hope that he makes good choices and stays out of trouble. Being part of a team is great as well as building great friendships and playing at a higher level but maintaining a demanding schedule is often our dilemma as parents. There are other skills I want my son to pick up like maintaining high grades in school, learning to play an instrument, try out a new activity…. Beint on a select hockey team doesn’t always allow for other things like even simple play dates with his class buddies! Trying to make good decisions but trying not too overload them either…also have other kids to plan for… So much to do, so little time.

    Susan Benghiat

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