Maybe I’m the only out there who feel that kids’ sports have lost their way. Oh brother, I can hear you saying; another Boomer starting off a conversation with a “I remember this one time back in’66…”
But hear me out here. Isn’t it ironic that as youth sports become more and more organized and there is now everything on the agenda from the classic Little League baseball to the (of course) non-contact Ultimate Frisbee, that the under-19 crowd is fatter than ever, with soaring rates of Type 2 diabetes, for crying out loud !
Maybe we really should blame it on the Boomers. If you’re 50 plus then you probably remember the advent of youth organized sports. You couldn’t join up to play ‘Mosquito’ hockey as we called it in Montreal until you were eight years old. By that time you had figured out what end of the hockey stick to hold after playing probably hundreds of hours of road hockey in between building snowforts and pelting any passing motorists with snowballs. Your parents would give you $30 to sign up for the season; it seemed to be an extra $20 for the rest of your brothers to join. Don’t quote me on that; the old man provided the cash and all I know is that I better not spend any of it on jawbreakers and hockey cards.
The season started after Christmas when the city put in the outdoor ice and so we didn’t waste any time doing complex drills designed by professionals with degrees in combined physics and sports physiology. Any parent who wanted to watch the action on Saturday morning was free to stand on the snowbanks at rinkside. Tim Hortons had not yet started providing double-doubles and timbits to adoring parents and the netting which protects fans from errant pucks was yet to be installed at the local rink.
Nowadays ? Hell, organized sports, especially hockey, is out of the price range of too-many Canadians. Already-stressed-out parents have to get their kids to the rink an hour early dressed in either ties and jackets or else the team’s specialized warmup suit. Then the team trainer runs them through a workout which was probably borrowed from Usain Bolt’s pre-Olympic rigamarole before settling down for some meditative quiet time in order to get ‘up’ for the game.
Don’t wind me up- I’m barely getting started here. I could go on and on, and I probably will in the upcoming days. It just seems as if our kids want to play a sport, we as parents have to make an investment of time and money equivalent to starting up a small business.
Anyone up for a game of kick-the-can in the streets after supper ?