I have been mulling this subject over for months – and it would be great to get your views.

I am a bit of a sports nut, have always loved playing sport and love supporting my kids in their various sports, but I feel quite alone in believing that it is only sport and unsocial behaviour, aggression and politics should be left out of it completely, especially in the junior levels. This is based on my personal experience with local sport and representative team selections.

I find the behaviour and attitudes that are displayed by elite sports people abhorrent. Maybe it is because of the vast sums of money that they are paid they seem to have lost focus of the main point which is it is an honour to represent your country or state and not a right to behave inappropriately.

This unnecessary behaviour begins way down at grass roots representative sport, where team management and coaches sacrifice local players to bring in players from other areas, just in the name of winning.  I believe that local representative squads are there for the local players from the clubs in that area. The  parent coaches join representative teams, select the team including their kids, rather than the selections being made by impartial selectors.  Trials for these teams are unfair and more based on the who you know rather than ability. This leaves local kids who miss out feeling cheated and deflated not knowing how to improve their game. Representative teams should be chosen and coached by impartial brought in coaches.

I believe in being passionate about a sport, but it needs to be kept in perspective and at the end of the day, although I am loathe to say it – it is only sport, even at an elite youth sport level.

Our elite sports people should be displaying the best of behaviour, the sort of behaviour that you would want your child to display, but to be honest, a lot of the antics that go on are disgraceful, disrespectful and downright bad.  I am the parent of a child who’s ambition is to be an elite sportsman and the values and behaviour of some of those at elite levels, often makes me wonder if being an elite sports person really is worth all the sacrifices that are needed to get there.

I believe we need to take a really good hard look at our junior sports programs and ensure that kids who want to get into elite sport are supported by a system that is unbiased, fair and promotes local talent, rather than taking a winning is everything approach and “buying” players in to win championships.

 

 

 

 

  • it is good to get the kids into a sport

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  • it is a good idea to get your kids into sport or some after school activity

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  • when you look at the current post career outcomes and problems of some of Australia’s elite swimmers I don’t know why any parent would want their child to become an elite swimmer.

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  • Great story, I completely agree.

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  • For the beginning sport should be fun.

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  • Good read thanks for the information

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  • yeah social gaming and good sportsmanship is a neccessity

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  • Sport for kids should be simply about the kids, There is far too much aggression and living vicariously through children, let them have their own dream and aspirations.


    • Very well said, I know a few who push their kids to undertake a sport that I know the little one is quite frankly not interested in.

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  • thank you sharing this article good read

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  • Sport is great for all kids to do, whether they are talented or not , The important thing is they are having a go.

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  • thanks for sharing was a great read

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  • I agree to your article. My oldest boy played after school basketball for about 3 or 4 years and decided to give it up. I was quite relieved as I was sick of my child being pushed around by other teams who coaches patted their kids on the back after they got a faol after pushing or punching another opponent – this is wrong. You shouldn’t be teaching kids this! Then the politics is not on! Every child should be treated the same and not victimised for being less sporty than someone else or being a bit different from the kid next door! I support my children in all the sports that they do and whether they win the race or not give them a pat on the back and tell them well done you tried your best! I don’t like it when your kid has been waiting all day for a race or two that they have been told they were doing and the coach turns around and says “Well your not the fastest and we have decided that Jo Blow is going to do the race instead of you” – What a let down for that kid. No wonder they don’t want to do something if an adult has got that opinion of them! Mmm. Anyway, I will keep on being the Mum that I am and encourage and support them in everything they do!

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  • thank you for sharing this

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  • Thanks a lot for sharing. I enjoyde reading it. Great article.

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  • Inwas absolutely astounded to hear parents swearing as cursing at 8 year old children at a soccer game this year :(

    Reply

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