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My youngest will turn 17 soon. She has been involved in sports since age 7, as were her siblings. It has been my experience that participation in sports gives kids confidence and self esteem. They gain confidence that they can succeed, even when things get tough.

My oldest is a senior at UNC. She was good enough to play basketball in Division 1, but pursued a business degree, instead. She has already signed a contract with Sarah Lee for over $40,000 starting out, plus a signing bonus! I attribute it, at least in part, to the years she played softball and basketball. She carries herself with an air of self-confidence, and the pressure of performance does nothing but motivate her.

Last night, I watched my youngest play volleyball. She's darn good, and VB is one heck of a sport - fast paced and demanding. Her mother and I had a great time watching Allison make digs, kills, blocks, and have one memorable all-around match. So, youth sports is definitely rewarding for the parents. Even when they lose, there is almost always something good to talk about.

The downside of kids and sports is ... adults. Too often, adults lose perspective, and that undermines the value of sports. Little League baseball was my worst experience. I was "the nail that stood up," as Custer says. Yep, I got pounded down, and the pounders took it out on my kids, who played minimum innings that year. The excuse for playing my oldest daughter minimum innings was that she hit the ball too hard, and threw it so fast that one of the other kids might get hurt. She had played on the All-Star team the year before. There were incidents where parent-Managers fought in front of the kids - real fights, and of course there was the usual cursing and foul language, not to mention the soap opera, behind the scenses intrigue... say, that sort of reminds you of GunsNet, at least the AK side? My daughter moved on to basketball next season, and my son chose soccer and football. They both excelled at their new sports, so it worked out well.

If parents keep a proper perspective and support their kids, it can be very beneficial for our youth... that's my 2 cents.
 

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Code name: Felix
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I agree, but I don't think sports really have anything to do with achievments. Family values and proper guidance are more important.


My wife of 26 years, started out as a clerk at Miami-Dade College, she kept taking classes and rose through the ranks to be a College Dean, making a six figure salary, never played sports in her life, my oldest son, hated sports, he'll go to the gym and work out, but that's about all, at age 20 he had a BS degree in chemistry and one in biology, at 22 (now) he's half way into his PhD. I myself was not into regular sports, but I did practice fencing at the college level and knew enough judo (green belt) for hand-to-hand combat and I think I have been rather succesfull in life, not a rich folk, but satisfied with my lifestyle.

So I think your kids just got good genes and guidance from dad.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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I fancied myself and athlete and both my son and daughter were as well.

My daughter, 29, is a VP of an advertising agency which she acheived at 27. My son, 25, is a senior editor/copywriter for a graphics design firm.

That being said, I am unable to connect the dots between sports and adult achievement.

I think participating in other activities beyond academics is the key and sport is just one avenue. It could be Boy Scouts or Civil Air Patrol or many other things. Whatever teaches you to actually earn success not having it handed to you as the modern self esteem BS. And as Aviator said in his own way, having the building blocks of success placed at home.

Parents have always been a PITA in kids activities even when I was a kid. Little league was crazy in the 60's. I had a Boy Scoutmaster who was terrific and let the boys learn and run the show. By time my kid brother joined the Troop, the new guy was a "nanny state' kind of guy and ruined the troop by doing everything for the boys.

I suspect things are worse now. My son is an assistant wrestling coach for a local high school and runs the kids wrestling club, too. It was an eye opener for him. He wonders how his old man survived as a parent considering what he is seeing out of parents now.
 

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Two boys were walking home from Sunday school after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, "What do you think about all this Satan stuff?" The other boy replied, "Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It's probably just your dad.
 
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