The Tyranny That Has Become Youth Sports

Another Mother’s Day has passed, and with it the usual activities: Brunch, cookouts, a walk in the park with Mom. And sports games.

No, not a family outing at the Phils, but youth sports: Baseball, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer. You name it, they’re playing it. Do mothers love watching their children play? Sure. But is it really necessary to play on Mother’s Day? Is nothing sacred?

Have we lapsed so far into vicariously living through our children that common sense — and common courtesy — are now nonexistent? Are we so far gone that we can’t even assign a few sports “blackout” dates when family should come first? Sadly, yes.

And while coaches and league commissioners are largely responsible for these warped priorities, the ultimate blame must be placed on parents. As upset as some are that their Mother’s Day, Independence Day and Memorial Day holidays are blown to accommodate sports schedules, most refuse to say “no.” Instead, they go along with the insanity, which only serves as an enabler, ensuring that things will get worse.

And they have. Much worse.

Playing sports is wonderful for children, but it can be carried too far, such as parents who permit their child to play three and four sports per season. Not only does this rip apart families, but it deprives children of the one thing they need, and want, the most: Just being a child. As important as organized sports are, it is even more valuable to play Wiffle ball, capture the flag, cards, and cops and robbers — though they better do that last one quickly, before it’s outlawed, but that another story.

Worse than the hyper-schedules is the inexcusable behavior of some coaches and parents, and the politically correct social-engineering that is ever more prevalent in youth sports. Consider:

Extreme Coaching: Recently, I was witness to a rotund, loud-mouthed head baseball coach chewing out a player so intensely, 3 inches from his face, that the berating could be heard three towns over. That humiliating barrage didn’t teach the player anything, since he was in tears and only 7. But the show had just begun. The coach then proceeded to publicly scream at his “third base coach” (aka volunteer parent) for not sending a runner home. To his credit, that guy exercised self-control, choosing not to knock out fatboy’s teeth.

Then there are those who play “Daddy” and “Mommy” ball, becoming coaches just to ensure their child makes the “A” team, starts every game, gets the most playing time and wins the awards. Merit and ability sit the bench while favoritism wins the day, poisoning what should have been a fruitful and fun experience.

While there are still many coaches who do their best to teach fundamentals in a “normal” way, it seems that an increasing number get into coaching not for the children, but themselves. A power trip, they are either reliving their glory days or, more likely, making up for the glory days they never had. To those folks, a piece of advice: Screaming at little children, having a heart attack on the sidelines and otherwise acting like a jackass doesn’t make you a jock. And it’s a horrible example for the children — the only ones who matter.

Extreme parenting: Orthopedic surgeons will tell you that children should never play the same sport for more than three consecutive months, since that invites injury to their still-growing bodies.

Yet, the number of sports-related injuries, such as torn rotator cuffs, is rising substantially. Why? Because too many parents live in la-la land, convinced their child is the next Roy Halladay, Pele or LeBron James. So they sign up their “star” for several leagues (simultaneously), often hire a personal trainer and run their children ragged all year-round. And then have the gall to get angry when an injury sidelines their child.

Additionally, many place immense pressure on their children to win sports scholarships to high school and college. So when 9-year-olds talk about such things, you know it’s gotten out-of-control.

Political correctness: Opposite coaches running up the score just to humiliate an opponent and make themselves feel superior, we have coaches and leagues that immediately jump to “mercy rules,” turning off scoreboards and telling players not to score when an opponent falls behind by several goals.

Talk about confusing young players. Practice diligently, execute on the field, yet do the opposite of all you’ve learned — simply because you were successful? That is the antithesis to what sports are supposed to teach.

There are, of course, ways to be sporting when beating an opponent. Prolific scorers can be placed on defense or in goal (though cutting their playing time, solely because they are good, is wrong). A classy football team will not pass the ball when up big, but it doesn’t give up. And the game doesn’t end prematurely just because of a lopsided score. To do so would be grossly unfair to both teams.

But we have become a society where “everyone gets a trophy.” Individual and team achievements are whitewashed so as not to hurt the feeling of nonchampions. Everyone and everything must be homogenized, a “spread the wealth” mentality whereby awards are doled out not by merit — by who is best — but by who hasn’t won yet. Far be it for a player to win MVP in two sports, as that is deemed “unfair.” There’s a term for mandating equality: Communism. And all along I thought we beat the Soviets.

The end result is a closet full of dusty trophies, statues with absolutely no meaning.

The longer-term effect is more chilling: A dysfunctional generation, expecting everything yet prepared for nothing. When faced by that thing called The Real World, they respond dismally. America cannot fight a war without bowing to political correctness. Business is suffering as jobs are outsourced to those not expecting entitlements. College graduates, expecting six-figure salaries, find themselves adrift, lost because of an inability to cope with life’s challenges after discovering that the “trophy days” are over.

Sports used to teach children priceless lessons to make them successful in life. How to win graciously. How to lose with one’s chin up, a motivation to work harder to achieve victory the next time. The message that reward only comes with effort and that healthy competition makes us better.

Life is a series of wins and losses, of passing and failing. You pass or fail in school, your job, marriage, as a parent. But those lessons are being sidelined and we are losing the game.

Free of political correctness, asinine coaches and “helicopter” parents hovering over their children, sports, in its purest form, is the best teacher. Teamwork, camaraderie, competition, and the incentive to be the best — these are the values America once embraced and they made us the envy of the world.

Somewhere along the way, we have lost that playbook and if we don’t find it soon, starting with youth sports, we will be watching the rest of the world from the penalty box.


The Tyranny That Has Become Youth Sports

Cryptowit 6-6-13

By William W. Lawrence Sr

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Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.
Margaret Thatcher

Fools The Rule Us Reprise

Richard Windsor received the Scholar of Ethical Behavior certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency for 2010, 2011, 2012 based on his email conversations with environmental activists and Obama administration officials.

He also was certified for completion of training courses in the management of e-mail records, cyber-security awareness, and a counter-terror initiative that urges federal employees to report suspicious activity.

He doesn’t exist. It was an alias that Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA and now an environmental adviser to Apple, used.

What kind of bizarre ego would a leader have to allow the awarding of such honors to her pseudonym?

It certainly reveals the value of having an EPA certificate of cyber-security awareness. It seems that the standards they have for “ethical behavior”are based on agreeing with the boss.

Richard Windsor Lisa Jackson Fools that Rule Us

Richard Windsor

Mailbox Will Be Back On Brookside Road

The mailbox that had long graced Brookside Road in Springfield, Delaware County, is just temporarily gone.

According to the Lansdowne Post Office that now oversees Springfield mail delivery, the box will be returned to  “near the stores” but not to its original place in front of the former post office building.

Hep C, Hipsters And Tats

Hep C, Hipsters And Tats — A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that the number of people in the United States infected with the  Hepatitis C virus is between 3.2 and 3.5 million.

The disease may go for years without  symptoms but if left untreated
producse chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and cancer. About 85 percent
of people infected with the virus develop such things. Hep C, Hipsters And Tats

And what are the primary causes of the disease? Intravenous abuse of drugs and tattooing.

Just something to consider when making unforced lifestyle choices.

Hat tip Dr. Theodore Dalrymple.

Hep C, Hipsters And Tats


By William W. Lawrence Sr

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Sgxmgxkz Zngzinkx

Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.
Lin Yutang

When Did We Become British?

I have great admiration for our British cousins, so I was sincerely flattered when asked to speak at Oxford University. I of course accepted, and look forward with great anticipation to this fall, when I’ll visit England for the first time.

The seminar will concentrate on higher education and how it is evolving, but I’ll also be interested in doing a little snooping while I’m over there.

I’m going to see if I can find some clues as to why we here in America seem to be reverting to being a part of Britain once again.

Perhaps I’m overreacting, but notice, if you will, that at Wal-Mart stores (at least the ones around south Jersey) you are directed to enter and exit to your left, sort of like driving on the left side of the road as they do in England. But we keep to the right in this country and pass on the left. Don’t we?

I’m starting to notice this tendency in many other places, particularly at Wawa and my local post office, where people increasingly enter and exit using the left side of the double-door. It’s even happening in my church, where the right hand door is often left closed—that is, until I reach the exit. That’s when I go through the right side, which, in this country, is the right side.

I’ve even had (many) people hold the left hand door open for me as I enter a Wawa. Imagine how disappointed they are when I ignore their misguided courtesy and pull the right-hand door open for myself. (Well, somebody’s got to take a stand for American Independence!)

This disturbing, bogus/foreign trend has now reached the entertainment and news media—the two wannabe national style-setters. Movie and television scripts are now peppered with the British police phrases, “He went missing,” or “The child has gone missing.”

As a long-time devotee of British TV, I’m familiar with this syntax. As a long-time American police officer, I can tell you indisputably that that phraseology was never used in Philadelphia.

(Excerpted from Good Writers Block)

Pennsylvanians Want Private Liquor Stores

Pennsylvanians Want Private Liquor Stores — The Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association reports that the  latest  results  from Susquehanna Polling and Research, show that 55 percent of Pennsylvanians want the state out of the liquor business while just 41 percent are against.

who would be more likely to support liquor privatization, however, grew to 69  percent if penalties for selling to minors became stricter and to 68 percent if displaced workers could find jobs in the private sector.

Now, Republicans control the governor’s office, and both houses of the legislature. Who do you think is going to get the blame if this rather popular — and simple — thing goes undone?

Hmmm, Sen Erickson?

Hat tip Bob Guzzardi.

Pennsylvanians Want Private Liquor Stores

Pennsylvanians Want Private Liquor Stores -- The Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association reports that the  latest  results  from


By William W. Lawrence Sr

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Pmr Cyxerk

Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.
Milton Friedman