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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 1:53 am | Fair 49º


She Said, Z Said: Have You Picked Your Sport Yet?

The long and the short of it is you're never too young to embark on that career in athletics

Z: Oh, no! I completely forgot! Has Koss picked his sport yet?

She: Huh?

Z: He’s 10. He has to have picked his sport by now.

She: Does jumping on the couch count?

Z: He needs to focus. He needs to choose soccer, basketball, baseball or football, and he’s got to start practicing every week. And we need to find him a private coach.

She: He’s 10.

Z: Exactly. We’re already two years late. We are bad parents.

She: I think you need to take a time-out here, honey. He’s 10.

Z: Exactly. We’re way behind. He hasn’t been training.

She: What are you talking about? He runs around and jumps and kicks things and throws things all the time. That’s what 10 year olds are supposed to be doing.

Z: You don’t understand. He’s 10, and he hasn’t picked his sport yet. What are we going to do?

She: Throw a Frisbee and then have some ice cream?

Z: Now he’ll never get on that club team, which means he won’t get on that high school team, which rules out getting scouted for college, which means no scholarship, which means he’s going to be unloved, unemployed and alone.

She: Overreact much?

Z: You don’t love him. You don’t want him to be a winner.

She: Let me tell you a little story. I have a friend whose daughter likes to play some sports, and likes to dance. So, she does what she likes. This year, her sophomore year in high school, she decided to try volleyball.

Z: You can’t start playing a sport in high school. That’s crazy talk.

She: She’s 5’11” and coordinated. She’s already getting scouted by colleges. And she’s having fun.

Z: That’s not fair. She’s tall and athletic.

She: Exactly. Sports aren’t all about fair. The big, tall, naturally athletic kids can do what they want when they want to. Many of them focus on a sport early because they’re already good at it and they love it, and more power to them.

Z: Man, that’s really got to annoy the parents who pushed their kids into volleyball when they were 7, got them a coach and a club team, and then their ungrateful children didn’t clear 5’2”.

She: That’s why the parents — ahem, coaches — who win at all costs drive me crazy. The worst kids’ coach in the world is the one who wins all their games, but who leaves half the kids on the team not wanting to play the sport anymore.

Z: But isn’t winning what makes it fun for the kids?

She: Not at all. They mostly just like running around and playing with their friends.

Z: We want our kid to be a winner. Winning is better.

She: Not for the kids who are sitting on the bench when they’re only 10 years old, and not for the 8 year olds who have Screamy McScreamerson for their first Little League coach.

Z: When did you become such a Communist?

She: They’re 10, or 12, or 8, and they’re not getting paid to be there. Who knows what their body is going to turn out to be like, or when they might suddenly figure out how to put together all of their previously awkward body motions. The only thing you know for sure is that if Coach Crazy McTooSerious kills the love of the game for them, then you’ll never find out.

Z: Huh. OK. You might have a point. So, do you think we should find Koss a coach for couch jumping?

She: Yes, dear.

— Share your backseat parenting theories with She and Z by e-mailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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