fun and games

I remember the days when soccer used to be fun. When you and a bunch of other little kids would practice a few days a week and then go out on those brisk fall Saturday mornings and play your little hearts out. These days, that seems to happen less and less. True, the recreational leagues still exist and micro soccer is still about the cutest thing around, but those same little kids are being fed the message that they're not really soccer players unless they go to numerous camps over the summer and join select and eventually premiere teams. Of course they are still encouraged to play rec soccer, but the pressure to outdo every other teammate in other soccer related involvements is intense. The sad thing is that it comes mainly from the parents. Sports crazy parents are a disturbing reality everywhere you go. Most of the time they produce exceptional athletes through sheer force of will; sadly, those children miss out on many other levels. I can relate from personal experience stories of girls who gave up voice and/or piano lessons solely to concentrate on soccer; girls whose grades decline steadily because they live, eat, and breathe soccer. Being a competitive athlete and working on your game is a laudable thing. However, I'm forced to admit that it's less of a fun game and more of a way of life now.


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