Youth Sports Community: Teaching the Game of Life
Children’s sports and games have always been a metaphor for the game of life. Children refine their individual skills, while learning to optimally cooperate with others to excel as a group and overcome challenges from outside the group.
Dr. Pat shares: In my professional practice I have always been very interested in Sports Psychology. I have worked with many high level junior athletes, consulted with the City Recreation Dept. regarding their youth sports programs, functioned as the psychologist for the Huntsville Stars Baseball team, and on the personal front, coached my daughter’s volleyball team.
I enjoy this part of my practice, because when I help a player overcome impediments to high level performance, it almost always has an impact on their attitude toward life and their global life success. Sports’ seeming paradox of achieving at a high level, while preserving a spirit of play, captures the complex foundations of creating a happy and successful life.Over the last few generations, parents have continued to strive to provide an ever greater quality of life for their children. One result of this striving is that children’s sports have gone from neighborhood kids playing stick ball in the street, to a level of organization and play which is almost semi-professional. As with most of humanity’s “progress,” the changes in children’s sports have both positive and negative effects on children, families and communities. However, since we are unlikely to revert to stick ball in the street, we parents need to figure out how to make this situation good for our children, ourselves and our communities.The “adult organized and achievement oriented” nature of children’s sports does provide an opportunity, in community with our neighbors, to have fun and teach our children the game of life. Youth Sports Community…Teaching the Game of Life is a Real Life Collection of our newspaper columns sequenced in a manner to make them most useful. It is an examination of the value of children’s sports and games. From our family to yours, we hope you enjoy this Real Life Collection and find it helpful in your life.