Wednesday 1 October 2014

Kids in sport

There's an article in today's Queensland Courier Mail entitled:
Netball Queensland to end culture of ‘every child gets a prize’ by reducing number of representative players

While I agree with the psychologist's views to a certain extent - the "every kid gets a prize" thing does my head in - if the flipside is that young girls lose interest in playing sport then I'm a bit torn because I believe that the more kids you can keep active into their teens, the better.

My daughter is not in an A-side, but her year of playing rep has brought many benefits that she otherwise may not have experienced - new friends, new coaches who took a different approach with her, increased confidence which has helped her off the court, and learning to deal with a different level of sustained pressure over a full day which can only help her going forward. All at a time when her body was starting to change and all the issues that come with that. She liked that they got a participation award from every tournament - who wouldn't! - but is fully aware that she wasn't playing A grade, and that under-13 is a different kettle of fish, assuming she even gets into a squad next year. 

So there's a balance to be achieved between "false impressions of their own abilities" and the benefits. I hear a lot of "they didn't do that in my day" and that's true - but how many kids dropped out of sport in their day compared to now?


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