Recently I posted a blog about the madness of super-hyped sports schedules for student athletes in the summer.  I've heard a lot of response about this issue--some who agree it should be curbed and others who don't.  I'd like to share some thoughts of parents, and I'd like to you weigh in as well.

"When there are so many 'non-mandatory' open gyms and camps, how do kids also learn the responsibility of having a job?  Or what to do with a bit of free time?  We purposely did rec leagues this summer, probably at the expense of my girls getting on teams this fall, to actually have some 'family time' doing things like going to the pool, fishing, and gardening...and even with those accommodations, we're still in the car WAAAYY TOOOO MUCH!!!"

"It is too much.  I bet my daughter has 60 hours this week of sports events she HAS to attend.  It could be closer to 80."

"I used to stress about summer schedules until one day when the oldest was 17 and the middle child was 15.  I realized how wonderful it was that my teenagers spent nearly every weekend and many week nights with their parents.  No worries of what they were up to.  However, my youngest child got burned out on sports before he even started."

"It's amazing how many 7th and 8th graders tell us they are burned out on sports, but they say their parents want them to do it.  We need to sit down with our children and find out the real purpose they play sports.  If it's for the love of the sport, that's one thing.  If it's for their parents to live through their child, that's another.  Our society has made sports our 'god' and until someone realizes that most kids won't go on to play in college or professionally, not much will change."

"I get the burnout thing, but I'm here to tell you, you'll miss these crazy times."

"Youth sports have ruined our kids childhood.  It's more of business and less enjoyment.  I personally hope I never have another kid who wants to play traveling sports."

"If your child is a good/great athlete, they will play--even if they don't go to the "voluntary" events.  Keep in contact with your coaches and tell them why your child is not there."

"I've been saying it for years.  The younger kids are playing entirely too much and too seriously.  They get so burned out, they have no interest in continuing when they get in junior high and high school.  Too much adult supervision has taken the joy out of the game.  That's why you don't see random games at the park or on home courts like you used to.  We're not giving them a chance to love the game."

"I truly believe this is an adult problem, not a kid problem.  Parents are catering to their kids like there's no tomorrow,.  We must become parents again and let our children be children while they still have time left."

"We love it.  My kids love it!  Yes, it's a lot of time away. Yes it's a lot of money.  But it's better than TV, video games, etc.  I'm so thankful for kids who want to be active and work hard.  I think it's sad and wrong to take those events away from them so we can do arts and crafts."

"This is the first summer in years that we are not gone every weekend for a ball tournament or swim meet and I am LOVING IT!  My kids are doing other things, branching out and having time to just hand out with friends and be kids.  I think that is invaluable!"

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