Sunday, May 29, 2011

Youth Sports: Holiday Weekends

When I was a kid youth sports leagues did not schedule games on holiday weekends. (Or at least the leagues that I played in.)

Holiday weekends were reserved for family events. And if you grew up in New Jersey, that meant going to the shore. I spent every holiday weekend in Ocean City, New Jersey with my family. Those weekends were so memorable.

Every morning, my dad would go out an buy raisin sticky buns from Dot's Bakery. We would eat the pastries while they were still gooey and warm. We would then get our bathing suits on and run out to the shed to grab our pails, shovels, beach games and beach chairs. We would hit the beach beach at 10:30. Once we got to the beach, the competitions would begin. We would compete all day long at games like horse shoes, hand ball, paddleball or whiffle ball.

Ocean City Beach
At night, we would go to the boardwalk. We would go on the rides at Wonderland Pier, grab a slice of pizza at Prep's, and eat Johnson's famous carmel popcorn. Once we were full of great food, the night competitions would begin. We would have a family skeeball tournament and crown a putt-putt golf champion.

My kids compete all holiday weekend too. Except, they are competing in high pressure youth sports tournaments. This weekend, I am in Tennessee, 375 miles away from home with my son, who is competing in a baseball tournament. My daughter has a soccer tournament in Dayton, Ohio and an AAU basketball tournament on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

The Main Point

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that my kids love to play sports. So their memories of holiday weekends will be as good as mine but different. But I sometimes wonder if we robbing our kids youth by concentrating so much on youth sports?

What do you think?


  1. Your blog is very timely. My husband and I were "discussing" this today. Next weekend is Memorial Day and my boys have sports obligations like they have on every holiday weekend and Mother's Day. I would like to go away to our vacation home (that we hardly get to use) for the weekend and enjoy some family time. My boys are on 5 sports teams in 3 sports. I'm tired of it. While I enjoy watching them play there needs to be balance. I am annoyed at the "powers that be" that schedule the games & tournaments on holiday weekends. I want to instill team spirit in my children and a sense of commitment but family time is importand too. This year I want to be a conscientious objector this year!

    1. While not a holiday weekend, my son and I went to Wash DC this past weekend for the annual 8th grade school trip. I was a chaperone. It was a weekend that my son will never forget. He ended up missing a baseball tournament. The team came in second and won a trophy. He said that he was not upset at all. He said he made the right decision. Another boy on our baseball team decided to skip the annual school trip to play baseball. He missed the chance to see Washington like fews others. Let me know what you decide and how it came out. My guess is that you will go to the sports events - that is what we typically end uo doing.

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