Wednesday, July 7, 2010





the nominative plural of I

I know that you know the meaning of the word but I wanted to give it to you anyway. The word stood out to me in a recent conversation.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a tall, athletically built, young man. I was at my son Deion's all star baseball game. The young man, who stood almost 6-1, had a younger brother who was on Deion's team. Within a few minutes of noticing the young man, I realized that I was sitting next to his father. His father was 6-3, 330 pounds. The father and I began to talk sports. Within our conversation, he revealed to me that he played football in college at Alabama State. He also informed me that his son wore a size 16 shoe and was 14 yrs old. Translation...the kid is gonna be HUGE!

I asked the father if the kid was playing football. He said that he wasn't playing football nor basketball. He said he was only playing baseball. I found that to be somewhat strange because the kid is built like a basketball or football player. The father then explained to me that he has provided his son with private lessons in baseball, a hitting instructor, and he plays in a travel league...all year.

Then he said something that really caught my ear...

He said..."I'm gonna make sure that we get drafted."


He said it again minutes later..."When we sign a with a major league team out of high school, we'll be in a good spot."

We? Was he speaking French?

It became obvious to me that this guy was one of those overzealous parents who is trying to live their athletic prowess (or lack thereof) through their child. Not only is that wack but it's not fair to the child. I would never pressure or influence any of my sons to play sports. I think my boys will gravitate toward sports b/c they watch sports with me. Deion is playing baseball. Kameron is playing football. Brandon is too young to play but he'll play whatever he wants to play. They can play whatever THEY want to play. I won't force them. Not will I place unreal expectations on them.

I've had "my day" in the lights. My time has come and gone. I truly enjoyed it and I have no regrets about it. But it's over. It's not my job...nor any other parent's job to make their child a professional athlete.

Too bad some parents don't understand that.


Smarty P. Jones said...

A lot of parents push their kids to do what they never could. I see it, not just in sports, but academics as well.
My sister didn't exactly take advantage of her academic opportunities and she pushes my niece academically.
Sometimes these things can be good and bad, but in this case, I think the dad is overstepping. Waaaaaay overstepping.

E.M.H. said...

I hope this Dad sees the light soon and stops to ask his son what he wants!!! This could all back fire in his face. Kids can be pushed so hard that they go in every direction except the one they are being pushed!!! His son should enjoy playing baseball or whatever sport he chooses. It's one thing if he wants to play all year long but he might actually wanna try something different!!!!!! He is still a kid and baseball is not his career. There are other aspects of childhood I'm sure he is missing out on. There is a difference between dedication and hard work that genuinely comes from a child and overzealous or overbearing parenting.

swtstiletto said...

Great post. I feel the same way. I have a 10 yr old son who is an excellent basketball player. I'm excited that he is so good in something he wants to and enjoys doing. The hubby and I ask him if he wants to try other sports like baseball, lacrosse or golf...or the arts and he is not interested right now, so we don't push him. We encourage his basketball as much as possible and enroll him in skills camps because we want him to know that whatever he wants to pursue he will need to work hard at it no matter how much natural talent he has. But when he told me this summer that he wanted to take a break from basketball and try other things like science and computers, we redirected our energy to those interest despite his coaches attempting to push into keeping him on their respective teams. He's currently in a skills camp and decided to join a summer league...but that was HIS choice not mine or hubby's.

I think as parents we can easily find ourselves trying to live out the dreams we once had for ourselves. We have to allow our children to first of all be children, and second of all live out their own dreams. The only thing I push or rather encourage my kids to do is work hard at whatever it is they are doing at that moment. They have a plenty of time to CHOOSE which thing they want to focus on and pursue as a career. We gotta let them live and enjoy this phase of their lives without unecessary pressures.

Off my soap box!...This post is timely because I just posted a blog on parenting

Keith said...

I agree...I hate to see some Fathers tearing their sons down because they fail to measure up to some high standard of athletic excellence that they have set for them.

Let the kids play or not play if that's their desire...Who knows..
they might be on the road to curing cancer..Something far more important!

Mizrepresent said...

I've witnessed this on more than one occassion while engaging my son in sports. I think i always wanted him to be in sports for the discipline aspect, and socialization, and now more for the adult male interaction. Parents shouldn't choose their childrens path...if you teach them well, they will make that choice on their own. Good post.

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Seems this happens a great deal. I think parents should want their kids to be well equipped to do above and beyond their own accomplishments. Definitely sounds like dude is counting on the paycheck.