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Is it hammer time?

Now, I try not to hammer people in public, but I’m starting to rethink this philosophy. For one, as a friend told me, trying to reach the people that know it all is like trying to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and annoys the hell out of the pig. So you might as well go down swinging. Secondly, our Company is not a gotcha company. We are here to educate, not pound. But, as I give more and more presentations, I am faced by the fact that many people, especially highly paid professionals, who are not used to be told they are misguided, think they have the answers while ignoring the facts that are right in front of them, because they too have succumbed to the dreaded “keep up with the Joneses.” No question parenting is difficult, and the youth and high school sports programs have, in many cases, added to this difficulty, and exasperated it. I have been to over 1000 high school games and practices and I can tell you the reaction of the coaches, players, and fans has taken a decided turn to the seriousness side. The children having fun and as a priority has been replaced by win now, manage the game, and the adulting of youth and high school sports. The short term pursuit of victory has had a long term negative effect on most everyone involved.


Some research is showing that the higher up the pay scale the more the parent will spend on their child's athletic pursuit. When this happens the child feels obligated and pressured to perform for the parent to justify the large expense his family has spent on his/her athletic pursuit. Some research shows that in lower income situations, the athletic scholarship pursuit is being used as a means to an end with little kids being pushed, prodded, and professionalized instead of just letting them be kids in the pursuit of the almighty DI athletic scholarship and a professional career.

I want to make three points here that I think are needed. First, most parents want what is best for their child, I understand that. But my second point is that what they think is best for their child is not based on science, psychology, and data in youth and high school sports. For the most part, they feel that if they don’t drink the kool aid their children will fall behind and lose out, even though, most data suggests that it is a race that doesn’t exist. Only 1% of all the kids who go to college play at the DI level and only half of that 1% play for free. Lastly, I understand the 5% rule in Psychology. There are 5% I will never reach. BUT, I feel that most parents who do not speak up during my talks still have many questions I can see it in their eyes and body language when I speak. They stay around and listen as I answer questions after my talks, programs, and workshops. For most airing their concerns in a public forum is not for them. They still need to hear the truth, and with it, how absurd some of the arguments are being made for parents to continue this course of action for their children.

Written by : VJS