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Thread: ESPN Articles on the Impact of Youth Basketball

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    Default ESPN Articles on the Impact of Youth Basketball

    Good read. Food for thought on specialization of sports and the impact on athletes. Applies to all sports but makes you think of the longevity or potential lack of for these players.

    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...uth-basketball

    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/...ketball-crisis

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    A very good article. The article really focuses on the physical problems that young adolescents have from overuse syndrome. But what about the overall psychological stress from overuse syndrome and the effect it has on their personalities. Adolescents need time away from athletics to do some healthy living like going up to the mountains for a weekend or for a week. Or to go to a summer camp which has nothing to do with the sports they play. Just a normal camp with normal kids. I think that every athlete should have friends who are not athletes; kids who just do normal things like go to a movie together, or go to a pajama party with normal kids who talk about normal things. Go swimming together, or lay on the beach. Go hiking and explore caves in those mountains you hike. An athlete needs to get more than just his or her body out of the sports for a period of time, but also needs to get his/her mind off of sports too. Develop a whole personality so you can relate to a lot more than just sports. And when it comes to reading, read other books than books about sports. Read other magazines other than Sports Illustrated.

    Go Zags!!!
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Excellent report. The coaching group where I live has been discussing these things for some time, and this article is sooooooo on point, and we've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now.

    Here's another good source for info on female athletes, a book called Warrior Girls.

    My take is all the snow plow parents overworking their kids to get 'ahead' for schollies and other things, and the incredible market that has been created of personal coaches to work with kids. Funny thing is at the same time there is this article on espn about overworking kids, espn also has a feature about one of these personal kick-your-butt-into-shape guys, too.

    The industries that have these kid athletes as their product and grind on them, you know, the travel comp leagues in various sports, used to be somewhat checked and balanced by parents looking out for their kids physical safety, but now they are enabled to be crazy workout warriors with kids by the parents, the snow plow parents. Insane, my opinion

    Rise of the Snow Plow Parents there's also a good NYTimes article on this

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    Quote Originally Posted by bballbeachbum View Post
    Excellent report. The coaching group where I live has been discussing these things for some time, and this article is sooooooo on point, and we've been talking about it for a couple of weeks now.

    Here's another good source for info on female athletes, a book called Warrior Girls.

    My take is all the snow plow parents overworking their kids to get 'ahead' for schollies and other things, and the incredible market that has been created of personal coaches to work with kids. Funny thing is at the same time there is this article on espn about overworking kids, espn also has a feature about one of these personal kick-your-butt-into-shape guys, too.

    The industries that have these kid athletes as their product and grind on them, you know, the travel comp leagues in various sports, used to be somewhat checked and balanced by parents looking out for their kids physical safety, but now they are enabled to be crazy workout warriors with kids by the parents, the snow plow parents. Insane, my opinion

    Rise of the Snow Plow Parents there's also a good NYTimes article on this
    For sure. It's a major issue, and female athletes in particular seem to struggle with knee injuries, with studies varying, but the numbers suggest that on a frequency basis, it's at least double the rate suffered by male athletes, perhaps as high as 6-10x the rate.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Wow, Reborn. Great thoughtful post!

    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    A very good article. The article really focuses on the physical problems that young adolescents have from overuse syndrome. But what about the overall psychological stress from overuse syndrome and the effect it has on their personalities. Adolescents need time away from athletics to do some healthy living like going up to the mountains for a weekend or for a week. Or to go to a summer camp which has nothing to do with the sports they play. Just a normal camp with normal kids. I think that every athlete should have friends who are not athletes; kids who just do normal things like go to a movie together, or go to a pajama party with normal kids who talk about normal things. Go swimming together, or lay on the beach. Go hiking and explore caves in those mountains you hike. An athlete needs to get more than just his or her body out of the sports for a period of time, but also needs to get his/her mind off of sports too. Develop a whole personality so you can relate to a lot more than just sports. And when it comes to reading, read other books than books about sports. Read other magazines other than Sports Illustrated.

    Go Zags!!!

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    All kids should be required to take Yoga classes.

    one of the reasons Tom Brady’s lasted as long as he has in brutal NFL imo

    more flexibility better chance to withstand over stressed body.

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    It is tough these days. If your kid is good at a sport they have to specialize at very young age. There are exceptions but those are reserved for the elite athletes that get a kitchen pass. Basketball and Soccer are the two biggest abusers. School and club seasons run concurrently and there is little or no option for the kids to rest. As the article states, it is all about the money. You either buy in or your child loses the opportunity and you are fed a bunch of BS about college scholarships, etc...

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    Super post reborn

    I believe John Smoltz is a huge advocate for athletes getting a balance. It feels like he used his HOF week to tell parents and coaches to slow their kids down and participate in multiple activities...ignore the radar gun
    Think Big. No think Bigger than that!

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    I believe Gonzaga athletes have a good balance of sport and reality. I've always thought it was great how they do things with the kids in Spokane. The thing about Gonzaga University is that it's small enough where every athlete feels like he's in a family. At least it was like that when I went there. I was an athlete at GU and had many friends who were not athletes and even some who didn't go to games. And there were students from all over the USA so I was able to get a terrific dose of reality believe me. I believe it's still like that in many ways. This is another reason for high school senior athletes to really consider going to Gonzaga.

    I have had two sons and three grandchildren who are athletes. I am happy to say that they are very balanced people. And two of my grandkids are very good athletes. One plays football at Idaho St U. He'll be a Junior. My grand daughter is a senior in high school and she already has a number of scholarships to play either volleyball or tennis in college. However, she is not even sure if she'll play sports in college because she's afraid if she does she'll have to devote her whole life to that sport (which ever one she chooses). I understand her fear, and am trying to convince her that maybe she doesn't have to give up everything to be a college athlete today. This article I just read is hopeful, and I think I'll have her and her dad read it.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagNative View Post
    Wow, Reborn. Great thoughtful post!
    I can still put one out once in awhile. hahahahaha
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    I can still put one out once in awhile. hahahahaha
    Great post, bornie. I do take a small exception to the subject of reading. Outside of school, I read only sports related material until I picked up Lord of the Rings at 16. My parents were fine with that, they were happy that I was reading. OTOH, in 6th grade, we all read The Count of Monte Cristo. The vast majority of us tested at the 12th grade reading level, way back when CA public schools were the best in the nation.

    It’s a real struggle nowadays getting kids to put down their damn cell phones. Striking a balance is tough, no doubt. Our vacation was fantastic in that regard: 16 days, 17 states, 5230 miles driven. Dillon was able to run the bases at Fenway, Nate and I tossed pennies on Benjamin Franklin’s grave, and we made a trip to Arlington to visit my Dad’s grave. Many other stops along the way, a very fun (but exhausting) trip.

    We’re heading to the state fish hatchery on Friday, if only to get the boys away from Madden for several hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vandalzag View Post
    It is tough these days. If your kid is good at a sport they have to specialize at very young age. There are exceptions but those are reserved for the elite athletes that get a kitchen pass. Basketball and Soccer are the two biggest abusers. School and club seasons run concurrently and there is little or no option for the kids to rest. As the article states, it is all about the money. You either buy in or your child loses the opportunity and you are fed a bunch of BS about college scholarships, etc...
    Youth sports is a pyramid scheme. All the parents pay the same but very few get any financial payback in the form of scholarships. But people are bad at math and hope springs eternal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    Great post, bornie. I do take a small exception to the subject of reading. Outside of school, I read only sports related material until I picked up Lord of the Rings at 16. My parents were fine with that, they were happy that I was reading. OTOH, in 6th grade, we all read The Count of Monte Cristo. The vast majority of us tested at the 12th grade reading level, way back when CA public schools were the best in the nation.

    It’s a real struggle nowadays getting kids to put down their damn cell phones. Striking a balance is tough, no doubt. Our vacation was fantastic in that regard: 16 days, 17 states, 5230 miles driven. Dillon was able to run the bases at Fenway, Nate and I tossed pennies on Benjamin Franklin’s grave, and we made a trip to Arlington to visit my Dad’s grave. Many other stops along the way, a very fun (but exhausting) trip.

    We’re heading to the state fish hatchery on Friday, if only to get the boys away from Madden for several hours.
    I've always enjoyed fish hatcheries. I don't know about down there, but growing up in Alaska, that was one of the most common places to fish, when salmon were returning to the hatchery.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaguarxj View Post
    Youth sports is a pyramid scheme. All the parents pay the same but very few get any financial payback in the form of scholarships. But people are bad at math and hope springs eternal.
    You know, I don't think I've ever thought it all the way through to this logical conclusion, but I can't disagree.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaguarxj View Post
    Youth sports is a pyramid scheme. All the parents pay the same but very few get any financial payback in the form of scholarships. But people are bad at math and hope springs eternal.
    actually, they don't all pay the same, especially if they employ personal trainers outside the club/school environment, and different clubs charge different fees once you get outside of the rec environment. BUT the parents who pay the bigger fees to have their kids on the bigger clubs, and who pay for the personal trainers, do expect a payoff in the form of schollies, etc. I've experienced innumerable parents literally sitting there and discussing these things during practice, openly discussing ROI for the time and money they spend on their kids at these bigger clubs and with the personal trainers. Having been part of many different sized clubs and schools in different sports as both a parent and coach, it's real and imo it's destructive instead of productive. And one can see which kids are there becasue they love it and choose it, vs. those who are there more from their parents push. By around 13 or 14, the parents can't push them anymore and many simply quit, maybe a better outcome than a smashed up body for something they don't love.

    Plus they make these kids play too many games, too many tournaments. Pickup games and playground stuff, it's not the same intensity, it's not the same stakes, the wear and tear is different. You can always stop playing, etc.

    US Soccer literally says in their player guidelines that after any game, 72 hours is required for full recovery, but then tournaments around the country promise 3 games a weekend, and then a fourth if you qualify for the final. Hypocrisy? Yes, driven by money, and there is NO push from anyone to change this.

    So, my teams do not play tournaments for this reason, because it's BS, straight up money maker for sooooooo many involved, and these kids are the product, and their well being is not considered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasZagFan View Post
    Great post, bornie. I do take a small exception to the subject of reading. Outside of school, I read only sports related material until I picked up Lord of the Rings at 16. My parents were fine with that, they were happy that I was reading. OTOH, in 6th grade, we all read The Count of Monte Cristo. The vast majority of us tested at the 12th grade reading level, way back when CA public schools were the best in the nation.

    It’s a real struggle nowadays getting kids to put down their damn cell phones. Striking a balance is tough, no doubt. Our vacation was fantastic in that regard: 16 days, 17 states, 5230 miles driven. Dillon was able to run the bases at Fenway, Nate and I tossed pennies on Benjamin Franklin’s grave, and we made a trip to Arlington to visit my Dad’s grave. Many other stops along the way, a very fun (but exhausting) trip.

    We’re heading to the state fish hatchery on Friday, if only to get the boys away from Madden for several hours.
    Maybe I stress reading so much because I was an English in Middle and High Schools. I think that reading is one of the best things that people can do, including adolescents. I read to my two sons all the time when they were youngins, almost every night. I loved reading children's books to them. We'd like on my bed and I'd read to them. I love those memories. My two sons are now in their 40's and they still read a lot, and not just talking about sports books/magazines.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bballbeachbum View Post
    actually, they don't all pay the same, especially if they employ personal trainers outside the club/school environment, and different clubs charge different fees once you get outside of the rec environment. BUT the parents who pay the bigger fees to have their kids on the bigger clubs, and who pay for the personal trainers, do expect a payoff in the form of schollies, etc. I've experienced innumerable parents literally sitting there and discussing these things during practice, openly discussing ROI for the time and money they spend on their kids at these bigger clubs and with the personal trainers. Having been part of many different sized clubs and schools in different sports as both a parent and coach, it's real and imo it's destructive instead of productive. And one can see which kids are there becasue they love it and choose it, vs. those who are there more from their parents push. By around 13 or 14, the parents can't push them anymore and many simply quit, maybe a better outcome than a smashed up body for something they don't love.

    Plus they make these kids play too many games, too many tournaments. Pickup games and playground stuff, it's not the same intensity, it's not the same stakes, the wear and tear is different. You can always stop playing, etc.

    US Soccer literally says in their player guidelines that after any game, 72 hours is required for full recovery, but then tournaments around the country promise 3 games a weekend, and then a fourth if you qualify for the final. Hypocrisy? Yes, driven by money, and there is NO push from anyone to change this.

    So, my teams do not play tournaments for this reason, because it's BS, straight up money maker for sooooooo many involved, and these kids are the product, and their well being is not considered.
    And of course, if you actually added up all of the money they're spending and straight up invested it, on net, they'd be way ahead, given how few of them actually get the scholarships.
    I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. - Jimmy V

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    Soccer... which IMHO is probably the cheapest sport to play... is broken completely. I have seen parents kids buy lines from "trainers" and "academies" where they are making what amounts to car payments every month. In the 10 years I spent on the board of our local soccer club I saw it get worse and worse and worse. Dozens of kids getting sucked onto these "teams"... travel all over the place... and what happens? Nothing. They don't play soccer once they graduate from HS because they have burnt out on it. I can say out of the 1200-2000 kids that played soccer that lived in our town over that time period only about 3 played at D2 or higher... and only a handful played D3 where you get no money at all. Best US player ever in the last 15 years is Christian Pusilic. He was wooed by all these academies and premier teams. He shot them all down, played at home in Hershey, PA... and now plays in the English Premier League. He is the reason we need to revamp the whole system. The money grab has been crazy. It has become a rich man's sport in the US. Parents told they can't get by without spending 2000-3000 a year just on training.
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    This is a really good thread, with many different ideas, and some that are similar. I tend to agree with much of what bbeachball says in hs post. However, not all of it. Mostly his conclusion, and the conclusion many posters have come to. I have one grandson playing college football, and mostly will have a grand daughter who will either play volleyball or tennis in college. I will talk mostly about volleyball because it somewhat compares to basketball and soccer, in terms of elite clubs and hiring professionals to work with our kids.

    From my personal knowledge, football players don't join clubs although some may hire professionals, if your child is a quarterback or maybe a receiver. We (my son nor I) did not hire professionals for my grandson. However, no really good athlete will ever play ball if he or she does not put in A LOT of extra work. In football in means lifting weights....every day. It also means running and working on your foot work. It means working on your skills and playing 7 on 7 flag football in a league all summer. It usually means going to a camp with your team (money). I am very proud of my grandson because he has such a deep desire to excel in football, and he is doing that. He works in the summer painting houses to make money to live on and spend during the year. He will most like start as a wide receiver this year at Idaho St. He is a Junior.

    My grand daughter is a volleyball and tennis player. She is really good in both sports. She'll be a senior this year, and already has 5 scholarships to play volleyball in college. Like basketball and I guess soccer, if you want to become an elite athlete in volleyball you will need to play on an elite volleyball club. It is not cheap. As bbeachbum states, there are different levels of clubs, but I would say that if you are not on elite club, your chances are very low of playing in not only college but even high school. In Yakima, the athletes who play even in high school all play on the gold elite clubs. Volleyball is very, very competitive in the Yakima Valley, in Ellensburg and the TriCities. There is also an elite club in the TriCities.

    My grand daughter began playing at the age of 12. That's when most get involved in club ball. The Yakima club has 3 levels: black, red, and gold. If your child does not develop the skills by the age of 14 to play on the gold team, I would say that their chances of even playing in high school are not good. There are a few exceptions of girls who play on the Yakima Red teams. I believe that one thing BBeachballbum left out is the cost of travel. The Yakima Gold teams go to Nationals almost every year, and they travel between Seattle and Spokane many, many times. By the age of sixteen they are playing in tournaments almost every week in the winter. This year they went to Phoenix, Arizona.

    My sons and I are not wealthy at all. We are middle class, as are most families that I know who play club ball. We are just average Americans who love sports and want to share our love of sport with are kids/grandkids. There are many ways for the kids to get out and raise money. My grand daughter is constantly doing this, and it's been great training for her to approach businesses in order to get them to support her. Without fundraising it would be pretty tough for most of the parents to have their girls play elite volleyball. The parents DON'T HAVE TO pay for all of it, although some certainly to chip in. But it's so very very expensive to travel, and elite clubs travel A LOT, and at least twice you will travel pretty far and stay for a four day tournament.

    In tennis there are no clubs. But likewise if you want your child to be an elite tennis player you will need to hire a pro. We (my grand daughters parents and grand parents) probably invest about $1500 a year (for just last year and this year). She finished 8th in state last year, and hopefully, will place higher this year.

    Investing is always a risk. Whether it be in financial investments or investing in your kids. There is never a guarantee of success. So please, don't assume that if you don't invest in your kids that you can succeed in investing the money you saved into a number of financial endeavors. My bet is that there are more people who fail in their financial investments than parents who invest in their kids.

    Those of you who kind of slam the idea of having your kids play club ball during the off seasons, have left out one very important idea. And that is what it does for your child socially, and in the development of their personality and character. There are so many positive things about playing on a TEAM. Learning how to be a good team member is so important these days, not only in high school and college but on so many jobs. And even socially, it's important to learn how to get along with different kinds of people. As a team player you will need to learn and respect your coaches, and listen to them and follow directions. You learn how to put the ego away and play for the team. These are such important lessons in life. And last, if you are fortunate, you will learn how to be a winner. That's the hardest lesson to learn.

    None of these things are easy, and hard work and sacrifices are mandatory. If you can't learn these two things you'll never make it. And you must learn to communicate and work with your parents and coaches, especially after the age of 16 (bbeachballbum says 14). There is so much communication that MUST take place. That too is a very very hard thing. I would say from my time spent with my two sons, and my 3 grand children who played sports, that it has not always been easy, and the tough times are possible as important as the good times. Working through tough times with your kids, I believe, really helps them prepare for life. In my personal experience, life is sometimes hard.

    Peace

    ps It's been a long time since I've written such a long post. For those of you who know me from the old days, you know how often I bored you with all those long posts. I have tried really hard to improve in this area, and mostly I have. They are much shorter these days. But this is such a good thread, I believe, that I just wanted to put more thought into it because I know so many parents get their children involved in playing sports. AND I felt the thread is kind of negative about the idea of kids playing sports. I don't believe the original article in sports illustrated was about not playing sports as children, but learning how to do it in a different way. I addressed this also in an earlier post. I definitely believe that our children can both play sports at an elite level while growing up AND that they can be well rounded individual interests outside of sports, AND to CUT DOWN on the amount of time playing games.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Soccer is nearly a year round thing for my nephews in Ohio. Between AAU or club or whatever, school team, indoor league, seems like there's only a few weeks throughout the year when they aren't playing. My oldest nephew did get burned out I'm fairly sure. After his high school team's season ended his Sr. year he was done, didn't play club after that. He had some opportunities to play at the D2 or D3 level in college but passed on that. He's just gonna be a normal student in the fall (at Louisville...not entirely sure how I feel about that). I don't know how much money my brother and sister-in-law have poured into it but I know the travel schedule was ridiculous for club. Seems like Indianapolis regularly, somewhere in Michigan, even as far as the Carolinas I think. Columbus and Cincinnati are both close by, there's really no reason why they needed to leave Ohio to play soccer matches. Seems so nonsensical to me.

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    I like this thread too Reborn tho I'm unclear where we disagree, becasue it appears to me we agree.

    My conclusion is that these kids are overworked and overplayed to their detriment by the business side of comp youth athletics, not that comp team sports or club teams are a bad idea or that they are incapable of adding to the positive experience of kids, kids' teams and kid social interactions, etc. Of course they can! It's that too often they simply don't. Why? The money.

    Here's what Alex Morgan had to say about the state of youth soccer, basically that it's worse than ever https://www.forbes.com/sites/michael.../#14bfbe916621

    “Unfortunately the pay-to-play model, I believe, is getting worse in soccer than when I played competitive soccer (growing up),” said Morgan, a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner with the USWNT. “It’s a very inexpensive sport and the fact that we’ve made youth soccer in the U.S. more of a business than a grassroots sport is, I think, detrimental to the growth of the sport in the U.S.”
    I agree with you Reborn about the social aspect of team sports, of course I don't think that aspect is missed on us, certainly not me, a coach for 30+ years. But you know who adds nothing positive to the team aspect and social aspect of sports? The snow plow parents; I cut parents, not kids. And who is worse? the personal trainers. They look to become personal gurus for these kids, and more so, their parents, so they can get paid. The team? The communication? The social aspect? Ha!

    Both of my kids have played club soccer successfully for years, my son just won a state cup in CA and my daughter is at an even higher level. But they both do other things, both take time off to rest and let their bodies and minds recover and regenerate, both play other sports and have lives outside of sports (music, art, robotics, and on and on), and we insist. They are on a week long backpacking trip with friends right now, missing a week of practice to fish and hike and hang out. Some balance.

    But my daughter's friend is a gymnast, 13 years old. She has done pre olympic events, trains like a maniac since we've known her, travels all over, great little gymnast. While in the short term her hyper training got her ahead, now she was just diagnosed with stress fractures in her back...wtf? she'll be out for a year at least, and I think she's done. She has clearly over trained under the tutelage of personal trainers and year round gymnastic teams, and who is paying the price for that? It's not her club and personal trainer.

    Anyway, it's the balance that's needed yet missing too often. I think we're both saying that, like in your original post. And that balance is out of whack because of the money, the business side of it...that's what I'm saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Those of you who kind of slam the idea of having your kids play club ball during the off seasons, have left out one very important idea. And that is what it does for your child socially, and in the development of their personality and character. There are so many positive things about playing on a TEAM. Learning how to be a good team member is so important these days, not only in high school and college but on so many jobs. And even socially, it's important to learn how to get along with different kinds of people. As a team player you will need to learn and respect your coaches, and listen to them and follow directions. You learn how to put the ego away and play for the team. These are such important lessons in life. And last, if you are fortunate, you will learn how to be a winner. That's the hardest lesson to learn.
    This is probably the best paragraph of a great post. Yes... my son and daughter would never give up the years they spent playing soccer. They played because the loved the sport and that is what I fostered. They were on travel teams, as you really have no choice on LI as your kids get older, but they weren't premier teams. My son tried out for a premier team... would have gotten on it too... but he took the sheet the coaches gave me out of my hands, he looked at the numbers and said: "I don't want you spending this kind of money for me to play soccer. I have no intention of playing after HS. I just want to play with my friends, especially if it is going to cost this much." Impressive from my then 15 yr old.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

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    Foo me once shame on you, Foo me twice shame on me.

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    LIZF ---great story--thank you for sharing.

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