Do Our Kids Need Organized Sports?

First let me give you a little background about where David and I come from on this subject.  We both played sports, from very young ages actually.  I played softball throughout my childhood and David played baseball, basketball, football, golf, track and I’m sure I’m missing something else.  We’ll just say that we definitely put our time in, in both school and city run sport leagues.

When B1 turned four we signed him up for soccer (even though we both despised the sport) because it was the first sport you could play in the city where we live.  Because that’s what you do right?  You sign your kids up for whatever sport is available and you cart them to practices and games with great interest and enthusiasm. Also, David got guilted into coaching when we were told that there probably wouldn’t be enough coaches for all of the kids to play.  Long story short he was none too interested in soccer, I loathed going to practice and games, we had to play in the snow (not kidding), and most of the kids could have cared less about being out there.  We didn’t play soccer anymore.

Fast forward two years.

We signed B1 up for baseball.  We had three kids by this time.  Again we dragged kids to practices and games to watch their brother play.  We hurried here and there, David had to get off early so that we could get to games, other parents were annoyed when we didn’t show up on time for pictures (I kinda forgot and had a sleeping baby at the time), the coach turned out to not exactly be the great role model I was hoping for, etc.  B1 did have fun playing but we were all glad when the season was over.

Fast forward one year.

We signed B1 and B2 up for a non-competitive, Christian based baseball league.  David coached again and both boys were able to play on the same team.  It was good in lots of ways.  They still practiced and we  had, sometimes, two games a week that we had to travel to.  We  had three kids at this time.  It still took a lot of time and planning to make it through a season, but in the end it was a pretty good experience.

Our kids haven’t played organized sports since then.  The Christian based league has failed to exist since our experience with them.  Instead they play baseball or football in the yard with each other, their father, or any other willing and able person that happens to drop by.  They don’t have practices to go to, they don’t have their siblings dragged here and there having to sit reasonably still during a hour long ballgame, we don’t have to plan vacations around practices and games, and we don’t have to buy any uniforms or equipment.  They have learned that they can play sports without grandparents, aunts, and uncles watching their every move as to not miss their glorious athletic abilities.  They still have fun.  If you ask my kids if they would like to play on a team there is no doubt in my mind that they would say yes.  If you ask my kids if they would like to eat cake everyday for a year, they would also say yes.  Do you get my point?

Who knows where our family will go with the idea of organized sports.  If the opportunity arises again for a Christian based league I would say it would at least be a possibility. I’m certain that if and when we do allow our kids to participate in such activities they will be extremely limited for the shear fact that we have four kids.

So the question here is, is it necessary for kids to play organized sports or is it enough to play pick up games when and where they can without all of the adult planning and scheduling?  Let me add in this bit also.  I do realize that the size of your family also has something to do with this.  If you only have one child they may have a hard time finding kids for a pick-up game. My question is can kids learn the same life lessons (sportsmanship, working together as a team, etc) playing sports in a pick-up or unstructured fashion?

4. Gradient sky colors of purple pink and orange, on a date night nonetheless.

(Want to know what this is about check out this post.)

One thought on “Do Our Kids Need Organized Sports?

  1. So ok I keep going back and forth on this subject. A little background, kids are 7 and 9 and neither have played “organized” sports. More like, jump and swim in the pool, kick a ball, etc. They were great, but the local rec district was offering a soccer league and a couple of our friends signed up their kids into the three week camp and then they wanted sign up for fall soccer league. uh have a bad feeling about this. Thanks for the words……

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