Monday, March 29, 2010

Athletics or Art or Academics?

Almighty Dad has a really good blog post called Kid's Sports: Lighten Up, Jeez. He writes:

The rate at which kids are being forced into athletics these days defies the reality of a bell curve.  A small percentage are going to make it.  Why would parents invest so much in such a minuscule possibility when there are so many other areas of education where real growth is likely?  

Almighty Dad has a really good point. Suppose my wife and I invested as much time, cost and effort into academics, music or art as we do on sports. Suppose we had our kids concentrate on learning a couple of new languages or pushed them into advanced mathematics. Suppose we had them learn how to paint or sculpt or master an instrument or three. His point is that sports success is fleeting, while other pursuits are life long. I agree to a point, but lessons learned on the sports field are life long too because we do live in a competitive world. We must also remember that enjoyment of sports can be life long too whether you make money at it or not.

My kids go to a wonderful school with a great academic reputation. I have an Ivy League education and to me success in academics is paramount.

My kids have been exposed to music. Both my boys played saxophone for a while. My older son tried guitar too. They did not possess a passion for music and therefore never wanted to practiced it. My daughter plays piano and sings with confidence and passion. In fact, she is singing songs from Girls Pop Party Pack karaoke as I write this. One day she may give up sports to pursue music and that would be OK with us.

My kids have been exposed to languages. They take Spanish and they absolutely dread it. Some brains are wired to learn new languages with ease and some are not. I excelled in mathematics and had to work hard to succeed in language classes. My kids seem to be more mathematically inclined too.

I guess the reality is that we are a sports family. My dad played three sports in college and passed his passion for sports onto me. I played soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball and golf growing up in New Jersey. My wife played boys little league baseball, softball (through college), track (high jump and hurdles), basketball, volleyball and golf while growing up in Iowa. My wife and I met playing sports. I guess we passed that passion for sports onto our kids.

I guess the best advice I can give on this subject - expose your kids to sports, music, art and languages and help them find their passion.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have a pretty well rounded family to me, Stats Dad!




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