Friday, June 1, 2012

Why We Don't Do Sports

We get quite a bit of pressure to put Isaac in sports. Isaac has natural talent. He's strong, he runs fast, and he's competitive. I wouldn't mind the comments so much if they were only made to Kyle and me, but frequently these persuasive comments are made in front of Isaac, and some even use Isaac to communicate their desires. (This is a low blow regardless of who the kid is or what the topic is fyi.)
Recently I talked to Isaac about this issue. I asked him how he felt about the comments and what he thought about sports. Then I explained to him that there may come a day when we will put him in sports, but that several things have to work out in order for that to happen. And frankly we haven't found anything that fits the bill:

1. The coach has to have the right attitude. Too many sports coaches think winning is the only goal and will belittle any kid who makes a mistake or has an off day. We don't want this for our son. We want him to be encouraged to do well, not insulted into working harder to please.
2. The parents have to have the right attitude. Ditto the above. If the parents idolize sports, it will affect their speech and actions. We've all seen this. Crazy sports dad screaming at the referee because something was unfair. What are you teaching your child to value, crazy sports dad?
3. The timing has to be right. Too many sports demand too much time. Two practices and one game per week, for example, eats too much into our family time. If practices and games mean we don't have time for family worship together, then it is an idol, not a hobby.

For now, Isaac and Daniel both attend homeschool P.E. It's an hour and a half, once a week, very close to home, all of which I love. They play a variety of sports each week with kids they know and enjoy, all of which they love. It's a good fit for us right now.


dkt said...

Totally agree...Sports is not the end all and be all!!

Our family has choosen to run for exercise and we enter the occasional 5k. I love it, because it is totally on our own time and because of the bonding time with our kids as we train. And, it's not that expensive. :)

I've also heard of a program called "upwards." They have basketball and soccer, i think. But it is a nation wide Christian sports program put on by churches. They meet once a week for practice and once a week for games and the coaches seem to have the right attitude. And parents are controled. :) We've never done it, but I've always thought that if we did, that would be where I would look first. :) Might be worth checking out if you are ever interested.

Amanda said...

I,too would suggest Upwards. The 2 churches we participated in it at were wonderful. Each week practice and games opened with prayer, the children learned a Bible verse, had a devotion with the coach, and 'earned' stars including most Christ like attitude. My oldest child participated and accepted the Lord with his coach. It is also a great teaching time for the unchurched. I recall a child getting mad and whipping the basketball during a game. The referee took him aside and explained to him what he did was wrong. It was awesome to see him invest in this child in such a positive manner.

I cannot say enough good things about Upwards.


A Mama's Story said...

Is your Homeschool PE group a co-op, in which the whole family is involved? Or strictly for the children?

Ginger said...

It's not a co-op. Girls PE is 2pm-3:30 and then Boys PE is 3:30-5pm. Usually the moms & siblings stay and hang out at the park.

Michelle said...

Do your girls do P.E. as well?

Ginger said...

No my girls don't do P.E. right now. They don't seem interested.

MommaofMany said...

We don't do sports, either, despite having kids that would enjoy them. I've seen too many families have to spend WAY too much time involved with them. We did AYSO soccer with our oldest when she was 6. It was a mistake we won't repeat! Once a week practice and once a week game quickly multiplied and became too much. We finished the season, since we committed to it, but refused to play again the next year.

I'd never heard of the Upwards program. It sounds like a great thing to do! I checked on their website, though, and found that there are no churches close to us participating. Thanks for sharing!