I just talked to a good friend in Sweden. He has a son who 13 years old. The teen plays hockey and have done for at least for the last seven years. The outrageous thing about this is the practice, the training, They train this children like they were eighteen and chosen hockey after tried a number of different sports through out their teens. NO, they only thing my friend's son has time for is hockey. So far so good, he enjoys it very much. The question is what is the price he pays. He doesn't have time for any other sports maybe he has the potential to become the next Michael Phelps, or Lance Armstrong. I guess we will never find out because he doesn't have time to try out swimming nor cycling.
My friend told me at the end of July that his son hadn't had time yet to play golf with him. No father and son quality time, due to leaders and many parents get caught up in the elite training, frenzy at a very early age when the kids should do a variation of different things.
The obvious risk here is burn out, and injuries due to lack of variation and to much stress on their young bodies. When they are 16-17 when it's time to decide what you like to do 100% they could be tired off it. Even though the could become a NHL player at age 21.
I have seen this craziness in different sports, it is even worse in gymnastic where 10 year old train five times a week and the leaders are rude to the parents if they dare to plan two weeks of for vacation which isn't authorized by the leaders.
Why this elite hysteria at such as young age? Why don't the parents to do anything about the clubs talking over their children's life. The thing is, many clubs have only one way to do things; elite. elite, elite. Nothing for a child who wants to play soccer because its fun. if he or she isn't good enough at age 9 they end up on the bench and how fun is that? They quit after have been bench warmers for a while.
As parents we have responsibilities towards our children. We should be in charge of their lives, right?
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