Foust Law October 2018

OCTOBER 2018 THE

COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE HERE’S WHY YOUTH SPORTS PARTICIPATION MATTERS

Have You Been Pressuring Your Child?

and basketball court than in any classroom. However, the past 20 years has shown a real drop in youth sports participation.

Raising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When Heather and I were married in 2013, Heather agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys, Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. Now at ages 17 and 18, we’re realizing these boys are growing up in a different world than the one Heather and I experienced as teenagers. We are far fromperfect parents, but we do our best. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find some entertainment in the moments we share. I have almost completed raising three kids, and there are two things that I know for certain: One, your children are almost never as smart as you think they are. Two, your children are almost never as athletic as you think they are. For most problems in organized youth sports, I blame the second of these certainties, along with a parent’s desire for their child tomake up for their own inadequacies. A legendary high school basketball player frommy home town of Columbia Falls, Montana, Craig Finberg, became a legendary basketball coach in Dillon, Montana. Craig wonmultiple state championships and was considered to be one of the best high school coaches in Montana. Sadly, Craig developed cancer, and his life was ultimately cut far too short. My favorite story about Craig Finberg involves how he answered the following question near his death:“Craig, if reincarnation is real, what would you like to come back as?”After a short pause, Craig answered,“a basketball coach at an orphanage.” Youth sports are my passion in life. I have coached all of my kids from kindergarten to high school, and I currently referee high school basketball. I feel strongly about youth sports because I credit most of my success from the lessons I learned playing football, basketball, and baseball. I learned how to deal with setbacks and successes more on the ball field KEEPING YOUTH SPORTS IN PERSPECTIVE

I was disappointed to learn that 70 percent of kids will quit sports by the time they turn 13, but I think I understand the reasons why. As parents have increased the pressure on kids, many kids are leaving sports when they don’t make the cut. In Bozeman, all-star baseball teams are made up of 10-year-olds. There is no way 10-year-old kids are emotionally ready to be segregated into all-stars and non-all-stars. Tomake matters worse, it’s too soon to tell if a 10-year-old will be an all-star player, so it’s little wonder that over two-thirds of kids call it quits by 13. I realize that not every kid is going tomake the cut. I was cut from the all- star team in Spokane, Washington, when I was 13, and I remember feeling completely devastated. I have watchedmy own kids go through the same struggle of not making a team, and I always wish I could take away their pain. As tough as those experience can be, I amgladmy boys made it through those experiences. The fact is that at some point, your kid will get cut from a team. You will always learnmore from your setbacks than you will your successes. Your kids will turn out just fine not because you kept them from some of life’s pain but because they grew from that struggle. archive.boston.com/lifestyle/health/mdmama/2013/05/parents_lets_ keep_some_perspective_about_youth_sports.html web.usabaseball.com/playball/players-parents/maximizing-youth- experience/keeping-perspective www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keeping-things-in-perspective-in-youth- sports_us_583cafb9e4b04e28cf5b8a7f Here are somemore articles about keeping youth sports in perspective:

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