The Kids know!

 

I was talking with two very nice ladies recently. Both of them had children playing youth sports. We were planning on scheduling a talk about youth sports. As is the case with these pre-meetings, I almost always try to model what I will be talking about in my presentation with these people.

 

Please understand that I also drank the Kool aid, almost everyone has a taste. What I am trying to change is the idea that ordering pitchers and shots of Kool aid is of benefit

 

I told them a couple of stories about my children and what we had gone through as a family.  I give them generalities that apply to most people about youth sports: specialization, entitlement, fun, balance, the journey, injuries, mental health, winning, scholarships, and a better way to do things for the children.

 

 Most parents are well meaning good people and these two ladies had a special desire to get the word out for the benefit of all. These two ladies had been friends for a while and each had a unique story about one of their children that was applicable and mirrored what many parents and CHILDREN were going through in their journey in youth sports.

 

One mom told a story of her son and his friend. Each was athletic and played sports together. One of the children decided to play their sport exclusively and try to live the “dream.”  Now I am all for dreams, but I always try to get people to understand that there is a difference between goals and dreams. It is the parents’ jobs to know the difference. The other children played multiple sports. When it was tine for college each family and child took a different path, based on the child’s wishes, and the parents desires.

 

The first child went on to play college athletics. He went to a non DI school and when the coach left, the new coach coming in hardly played this boy. It happens.

 

The second child, and the child of this lady, who had been exposed to multiple sports, different experiences, and had not participated in "elite" travel sports took an entirely different approach to his choice of colleges. During one visit were he and his family were brought in with other athletes for what I call the “cattle call “ interview process in which many athletes are brought in at once, interviewed but the coach, and then the decision is made by the coaching staff on who to go after, is made. Well, not in this case!

 

This young man, because of his upbringing, told the coach he wasn’t sure he wanted to play sports in college. I would have paid to see the look on the coaches’ face and been there for the meeting with his assistants after this get together was over!

 

 One college down two to go!

 

The next visit was to a campus during the sports season. After attending a seminar on academics, the mom said there was an event going on in the child’s sport and why don’t they go take a look. When they got there the young man commented on how few people were in the stands, and how many kids were on the team.

 

The last college didn’t have a sports team in this child’s area. This is the college he attended.

 

When I mentioned to the mom that the child was sending messages to his parents on what he wanted to do in college, and what he wanted to avoid be pressured to do, by the school that he chose, and the hints that he dropped along the way, you could actually see the light go on for her.

 

This is what we do at Frozen Shorts. We try and get people to associate their experience with the big picture, extrapolate and identify their connection and get them to come to a new enlightenment about their journey.

 

I am just the messenger, the truth is already there!

 

Next week the other child’s journey!

You can follow VJ on twitter @VJJStanley, go to his website frozenshorts.com to read other blogs and see video interviews of Doctors, Athletes, Coaches, and more. You can follow him on face book, or contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  His book: Stop the Tsunami in Youth Sports is available in E-Reader and paperback through his website frozenshorts.com