As soon as we celebrated the end of school yesterday, I faced that long set-aside list of sports practices, camps and deadlines. But then this morning, like manna from … well, New Jersey, came this column “It’s OK for youth sports kids to take the summer off”, from the Newark Post’s Jon Buzby.
“While there’s nothing wrong with kids being outside during the summer months playing baseball or basketball or maybe even a sport they never play in an organized league, they should do so on their own terms. It shouldn’t be because we parents are making threats about how the other players are all practicing on their own or playing on travel teams or in summer leagues or camps.”
Moms especially have laughed about Jen Hatmaker’s Worst End of School Mom Ever blog post; it hit home! But I’m glad this dad stepped up when he did to remind us that kids (and parents) need a break from sports too. Sports medicine experts even have a term for it; Seasonal Fatigue.
There are teams, camps and practices we have committed to already. But to the extent that we parents can build in some downtime for kids to run through the sprinkler, play tag or anything else impromptu, let’s do it.
If your kids ask you to shoot hoops in the driveway or head to the batting cages, that’s great. But Buzby concludes, “When it involves sports, the best way for a kid to spend his free time is simply, however he chooses.”