Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cottonelle Generation

I was reading an article today about a kid who was banned from pitching in Little League because he was too good.

Are you serious?

Too good to play? Isn't skill and ability something we WANT our kids to develop?

I agree with the author of the article that it's more likely that they're worried that the other kids won't be able to hit against him. The author called this current age of overcaution the Cottonelle generation. I liked that.

We *are* teaching our kids to be too soft. Too many of our kids are afraid to be truly competitive. They don't learn about being aggressive on the field. They never overcome our instructions to be fair and kind and take turns. Mark is in eighth grade and he is still overly cautious during sports not to bump into anyone, and he backs off entirely too much when someone takes the ball away from him.

When we were kids, we came home from games dirty and bloody with skinned knees and bruises, and we didn't think anything of it. We didn't wear our "good" clothes to play because we knew we'd be getting them ripped up and stained.

Kira has played three years of baseball and has yet to play with anything approximating the real rules. They don't keep score, everyone gets up to bat and gets pitched to until they hit. Half the time, even when they are "out," they still stay on base. It doesn't matter if they're out anyway, because nobody keeps track of outs either.

This drives me crazy.

Games are not the time to be doing this. That's what practice is for. Games are when you apply the rules of the game, so that kids can LEARN the rules. And if you're out, you're out, and maybe next time you'll try harder.

Teams are SUPPOSED to be afraid of a kid on another team who's really good. But they're also supposed to PLAY against him. Not make him play another position.

I'm pretty sure that Mark is not going to make the junior varsity or varsity teams when he gets to high school, because he hasn't been trained to play hard. And I mean HARD. In order to really compete at the high school level, you need to be driven. You need to play against people who are way better than you are, because that's how you step up your game. You need to be challenged, not coddled.

There's a phrase I heard awhile back that I have adopted regarding sports: Earn your shower.

Get grimy. Pour sweat. Grind dirt into your skin from diving for the goal or sliding into base. Get scabs. Ache at the end of the day. Work hard. Don't just show up.

I'm not talking about *playing* dirty. Good sportsmanship is essential, and playing by the rules. Don't *play* dirty, but *get* dirty. Earn. Your. Shower.

Bring your best game, and expect that everyone else has, too. mk


The Beast Mom said...

You know what I think about this issue. We see things very similiary.

Twinkie brain.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree.

Now I'm ready to read a new post.

Also, ask M. what he did in exploratory today.

Anonymous said...


The Beast Mom said...

uh, so are you ok over there? Haven't seen a post in a while...

no more health emergencies, pls. ;)