Adult recreational sports are the topic of the week. More and more violence is being reported in adult leagues and even pickup games. Many people have weighed in on the subject. I feel that they have made some excellent points but I think we need to look at the root of the problem. Could it be that having children play one sport year round is starting to manifest itself in adults who went through the system?
            There certainly is a connection. The same people who were playing one sport year round over the last couple of decades are now playing adult sports.
            Where it used to be a player who was not very good would buy the expensive jersey or even whole uniform and put his own name on the back. He might even put a big “C” on the front of his jersey and go out and play. All of us playing saw this outfit as a warning sign to be careful around this guy. He whacked his way around the ice and was generally the worst player out there.
            I have been to pick up games and adult league games over the last few years and I am stunned to say the least. Violence and total disregard for the safety and well being of teammates and opposing players is manifesting itself. I continually here friends say they have stopped playing their favorite sport because they want to go work the next morning without any resulting injuries from the night before lingering.
            Soon, you will see on my website an interview with Clint Campbell ex Montreal Junior Canadien center, and Colgate University hockey player explain what he has seen in adult recreational sports and why he thinks so many guys are quitting.
            It is my opinion that this phenomenon can be attributed to a great deal from the one sport year round hang over. What happened was these children, now grown up, were told repeatedly that they would get a DI scholarship by those around them. They practiced, played hundred of games, and sometimes traveled all over the country only to see that they did not have the talent to play at the next level. They paid, or their families paid the equivalent of a Mercedes Benz and ended up with a Yugo.
             These athletes were told they were elite when really all they were was the best of who could afford to pay. They perceived value in what they were doing. The thought was more is better. If you buy a more expensive car it is worth more. The same does not hold true for youth sports. Some of the best athletes in the world did not play organized sports until they were 12 years old.
            It used to be in a pickup game that the two sides would make sure they game was pretty close and competitive. If you were ahead of my team by a large margin in the first ten minutes of the game the ‘captains of each team would meet, make a trade of a couple of players to even things out and start over. Now that is not always the case. I have seen more and more pick up games where one team wants to have as many of the best players available and will crush the other team to the greatest extent possible.
This is not competition as we know it. It is just another example of the long term effects of playing one sport year round that most people don’t see. Because, as parents, we are no longer attending those games, and don’t see what is happening or effecting our children after they leave us. Well, I have seen a few parents at these games, but that is a different topic for a different time.  You do remember how much frustration and angst was present in the games you watched as your children were growing up? Did you really think there would not be consequences in the future? Or did you not even think of it? Either way it’s here now and must be looked and possibly attached as a cause and effect correlation to the out of control world of youth sports.
            You know what the number one growth sports are for adults in the United States? Whiffle ball. You know why? It’s fun. I can take a person who has never played whiffle ball and if you give me five minutes with them I can show them how to do some really nasty things to a whiffle ball when they pitched it to a batter. Conversely I could have the greatest stud baseball player and either makes him look silly with a pitch or even if he cranked it, have the ball travel about fifty feet. Its fun to play whiffle ball and boys and girl can PLAY together and have FUN!