I decided to invent an extreme sport of my own. The craze with youth sports and activities has reached an all time insanity level. I have never seen a time when kids are run to so many different activities almost every day of the week. I have friends with three kids and each one involved in three separate activities. I don’t know how parents today can juggle full time jobs and a house and all the running around after work that’s required. Don’t get me wrong I played sports when I was a young lad and so did my older children.
I can honestly say it wasn’t like it is today. I had great parents, but they never would have put the amount of time in that people do today. Not because they didn’t care, because they would have thought it was ridiculous. I realize I grew up in a different time but at what point is something completely absurd?
One day as I was conversing with a friend about all the places he was going over the weekend for his kids’ activities. I was a little dismayed at the amount of scheduled events he had to get to. I started to wonder if there was a sport or activity around that actually benefitted both children and parents and that didn’t require the enormous time commitment. The cost of these activities and stress of participating on not only the parents but the children seemed really excessive to me. Not to mention, how in the world do you have a life outside of it?
Sports and activities today are now played year round. There are no more off seasons to give people a break. Even professional athletes get time off to recuperate. Once you get involved in some of these extracurricular activities, they are like black holes of time and money. I am shocked at the amount of money it takes to “play” a game today. Some of these activities cost more than a private school education.
I don’t even know if kids get together to play outside of these structured activities anymore. It appears it is all pay to play now. There is rarely any time to play together for fun. I used to play all sorts of games on the local playground with my friends and it didn’t cost my parents a dime, outside of the occasional ball needed to play. My parents didn’t have to run me somewhere so I could participate. I walked to the location and played pickup games all the time.
Through my frustration, after talking to my friend, I decided that I would take it upon myself to invent an extreme sport that didn’t require endless wasted hours of sitting around watching a sport or activity when there could be productive things going on or relaxing from a hard day at work. A productive activity that didn’t require huge sums of money that, from what I can tell, parents aren’t getting their dollars worth. What type of sport can benefit me as a parent or give a child something to do? I started thinking what would be a great sport for a kid that would do both of those things? Then it hit me one day while I was outside looking at my own yard that needed to be cut. When I was young, cutting lawns for the neighbors was a great way to learn responsibility and commitment and make a few bucks in the process. Where is the extreme sport with those values?
Competitive lawn mowing is the perfect sport. Every Saturday or Sunday kids can get up off the sofa, put the Playstation away and see how many lawns they can mow in a day. They could compete with their friends to see who cut the most lawns or who manicured the lawn the best. They could maintain their own equipment and maybe learn something that would carry them through life.
Picture this, as a parent, instead of getting up on a Saturday morning to run to whatever activity your kid does neglecting the chores around your home, you instead get up get a cup of coffee, relax and read the paper. Take your time, maybe go outside and make sure the lawnmower has gas.
Around noon you pull out the lawnmower, get it ready to engage in the new extreme sport. Then sit back on your porch with a beer in your favorite patio chair, waiting for the games to begin. Next, your child comes out, someone yells ‘start your engines!’ and your lawn immediately starts to get cut and trimmed free of charge, all in the name of sports.
Not only would I solve the two obvious inherent issues that I discussed but the added benefit would be that I also wouldn’t have to listen to some parent who clearly never played a sport a day in their life explain to me all the mistakes a referee or umpire made to screw their kid out of possibly going pro. I also won’t have to get a parent’s play-by-play recreation every Monday, and receive a lecture on how their kid’s coach doesn’t like them and has it out for their kid. Or my favorite, how their kid is the second coming and no one else seems to realize it.
The Deviant View on Extreme Sport
I’m not against youth sports, I think if it’s all in good fun and the children are learning team work, good sportsmanship and perseverance- that’s a good thing. That really is what youth sports is all about. Once it crosses a line into a job for kids and a second job for parents, something got derailed along the way.
If we want to treat a sport like a kid’s job, well let’s give them a job and have them start earning money now, because I can tell you 99.9% of children in sports will never make a dollar on it.
By King Deviant
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