My sons just finished their flag football season. They played in NFL Super Bowl Champ Rosevelt Colvin's All Pro Flag Football league. It was a great season, and a reminder of why I absolutely love youth sports!
For my 7-year old the season didn't end to well, as they won three games all season, and lost to a team in the tournament who had not won a game. But to him, it didn't matter. It was all fun!!
It was the first season of any sport for our 3-year old. His team won every game (so did the other team as they only did drills, relay races, and simple "scrimmages"). And to him, you couldn't tell if he cared more about playing, or sitting on the side hanging out with his mom and sister. He was going to have fun no matter what!
Through winning, a lot of losing, and just being out there together we really enjoyed the season. It reminded me of when I played little league, flag football, and Gray-Y basketball (my hometown's YMCA hoops league). Playing youth sports was just as fun for me then, as it is for my kids, today. I love it, I love watching it, and my kids love it too!
Here are 5 reasons to absolutely love youth sports!
1) Sports are games, and playing games are fun...
Professional athletes get paid millions of dollars to play games. That is amazing to me, but sometimes it doesn't seem fun to them. And for us fans, sometimes it isn't fun to watch
, based on the way they play the game. But youth sports and sports in general are just games. Playing games are just plain fun!
2) Witnessing kids learn, develop, and figure it out...
I am a teacher at heart. I love to learn, and witness other people learn. Youth sports is an amazing learning ground for kids. Not just in skill development, but work ethic, sportsmanship
, and teamwork. Witnessing a kid playing a sport, then figure it out, and get better is something to enjoy.
3) It is the purest form of sports...
Although they play games, professional sports is big business first, and fun and games next. Some athletes sign shoe deals before setting foot on the court or field. Their new contracts are published for all to see, and critique. When an athlete plays bad it can impact his livelihood, and reputation. Sometimes I feel the purity is lost at the highest levels
of sports. But youth sports is the purest form of sports.
4) It can be downright funny!
Watching our 3-year old's league made for some comedic moments. One time a kid had the ball, and pulled his own flags off, so the other kids couldn't. My son, had on the game-face of the century! He looked so serious
out there, you'd think he did
have a paycheck on the line. Kids not only say the darndest things, they also do the darndest things while playing youth sports!
5) Catching the sheer joy of a kid doing something good...
The two videos below of my kids playing, me coaching and cheering sum this point up for me. The first video is of my 7-year old throwing a TD pass, and the 2nd video is of my 3-year old son running in a TD. Watch their reactions and facial expressions after. Sheer joy!
What do you absolutely love about youth sports?
Jackie Bledsoe, Jr. is a sports parent of three, and writes on sports parenting. He has played sports for over 30 years, including the collegiate level, and coached youth sports for the past eight years.
photo and video credits: Jaicey Bledsoe & Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.