The report is that nearly one sixth of young people between the ages of 2-19 are said to be overweight. While this is alarming, it is perhaps even more important to appreciate that the 16% overweight rate represents the nationwide average. Local rates vary widely depending on gender, race, socioeconomic status, educational background, and probably more, as yet, undetermined factors.
Among Mexican Americans ages 6-19, nearly one in four boys, and one in five girls are overweight. Over one fifth of African American females ages 6-19 are overweight. Combining these figures with those at risk for being overweight, we learn that excessive weight threatens the health of between a third and a half of children in these groups. And, the situation continues to worsen.
A well written article by a teenager on the state of youth sports today and the overemphasis on competition and winning as the main value. Need to continue to emphasize fun and skill development.
(Warning: Parent bragging ahead.) My daughter and son, now college students, had terrific school sports experiences by just about any standard. Both played for Central Coast Section and league championship teams at Archbishop Mitty High School. Sarah’s soccer team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for a while. Our son’s basketball team was ranked No. 1 by the Mercury News and reached the NorCal championship game at Arco Arena in Sacramento.
And yet for all of that, I still look back on our family’s trip through the youth and club sports gantlet with emotions that cause me to shake my head, shudder, grimace, get indigestion or . . . yes, scream.
This is what the gantlet does: It takes away the sweetness of simply enjoying a game. As your children progress in sports and the pressure builds from coaches and parents to make sure your kid plays on the “right team” with the “right exposure” so the kid can “move up to the next level,” you can almost feel the whole thing starting to smother you like a blanket.
Although we all love to watch our children play soccer, swim, play tennis, basketball, hockey and even lacrosse and field hockey, it is becoming incredibly important that we keep the role of sports in our life in perspective.