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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Generation "Y" Athletes

Peeps –
I want to touch on a bit of a sore subject for a lot of us “old school” parents who have children in sports and that is… “where has the mental and physical toughness gone?” Now, I understand that things have changed and we now live in a different day and era. Most of us are parents to a generation known as “Millenials.”
 What…? Milleni-who?
Yes, that’s right “Millenials.” The young people of our digital age who would much rather strain a thumb playing video games versus break a sweat outside exercising. Those same young people who never have to pick up a rake, pull a weed or take out the trash (we have hired help for that now).  These same young people are incredibly intelligent, have a strong sense of family and typically have a strong sense of achievement…huh?
Let me be the first to say, that being in the private school sector and surrounded by these young people every day it’s amazing how much it taken for granted. What’s even more unfortunate is that parents (us, we) don’t feel the need to introduce our young people to anything other than convenience. For instance, when’s the last time you popped popcorn without putting it in the microwave? Remember “popcorn night” with the big pot and good ol’ Orville Redenbacher? When’s the last time the whole family worked in the yard together (oh, that’s right the “yard guy” comes on Thursday)? What ever happened to working during the summer in order to get the newest Air Jordan’s or the latest style in jeans? Nope no need for that, I’ll just ask my dad… seriously?
I say all of the above to say this… when we put our young people in sports, we can’t possibly expect them to work any harder than they’ve been exposed to. We might as well ask them to walk on the moon if we’re expecting them to rise to some magnanimous (yes, it’s an SAT word) occasion having no experience with struggle, fight or gumption. Let’s get real here. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Millenials are often times stressed, pushed and overwhelmed by their parents. 
Look, I’m not going to win a father of the year award anytime soon and I whole-heartedly agree with giving your children a much better life than you’ve had… but do them a favor and insert a little bit of struggle and fight. Have them work a little bit so they learn to appreciate what they have. Get them to open there eyes to a great, big HUGE world around them and help them understand that it isn’t easy. If not, we’re doing nothing more than setting them up for failure (Lord knows we couldn’t bear the thought of an unsuccessful child).
Until next time – “right on to the real… and death to the fakers.”

Out -

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