Sports Issues

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How Much is
Too Much Training?

Sports play an essential part of the way of life in the USA
        From high school and college sports to professional sports and weekend warriors who play golf, cycle, or  take winter ski vacations - Americans actively participate, are spectators who attend events with social events involving tail gating, or hosting super bowl parties.

        It should not be any surprise that parents look at their children with pride as they engage in sports. Sometimes the parents can be very intense as they fight over playing time on team sports or contesting the calls by umpires.

       Sports organization need volunteers and financial support to exist. Unfortunately, parental involvement in youth sports can be a double edged sword. Without legions of moms and dads to driver young players to practice, serve as volunteer coaches, and pay the expenses, youth leagues would quickly wither and die. Every sport you can think of, from hockey to swimming to baseball to football are experiencing parents who sometimes cross the line. Out-of-control parents are a growing issue in youth sports around the country.

The Paradox
       The paradox of being a parent is that it is with the best of intention we pushing our children to succeed can. However, this can teach our children to be selfish and grasping instead. A parent's greatest strength - their unwavering emotional support of their child and their willingness to make sacrifices for their child's athletic advancement - is thus also their greatest weakness.

Unfortunately, parents get caught in this trap all the time. It shows itself in the following ways:
  • Over identification. It is natural to identify with your child. However, this can lead to over identification results in ignoring your child's feelings and focusing instead on your own.

  • Selfish dreaming. It is normal to dream of what your child can accomplish, but parents can get so attached to their own dreams that they lose sight of what the child wants.

  • Confusing investment with sacrifice. Parents love your children so much that they are willing to make tremendous sacrifices on their behalf. For example, spending money to support the child's sport and taking the time to be there for the child. The problem is that parents may see these sacrifices as investments that they expect will pay off and yield tangible benefits.

  • Competing with other parents. Parents can become very competitive with the parents of their child's major competitor. Pushing your child to succeed is one thing, hoping that the other competitors will fail so your child has a better chance of winning exemplifies the worst of poor sportsmanship.
Is the Training Effective?
        Too many parents may drop off their child for a practice/training session. If the child is highly motivated, they will not waste any of their time gossiping with other children. Sadly many individuals lack that personality trait.

        Too many private lessons per week uses the coach's time as a baby sitter supervising the child - not as an information and skill provider that requires the child to involvement themselves in the process by taking notes during their lesson on the specific items that were discussed during the lesson. The notes become practice assignments for the next lesson.

       The amount of training spent on a child's athletic training should be affordable without putting the family finances in jeopardy. If there are several children, the majority of the family finances should NOT be devoted exclusively to one of the children,

       Athlete training expenses for a child can be paid with funds diverted from the child's educational fund, provided the child is old enough to understand that funds will not be available for their education. The same is true if the funds are being borrowing against an expected inheritance, or promises to pay for a future wedding or some other projected source of revenue.

       As a young athlete grows older, they will either either consider the family funding the training expenses as something they are due, not give ant though to the cost of their training, or understand the sacrifices that his/her parents and siblings are making so he/she can train without seeking part employment in addition to going to school.

       An unfortunate result of the high cost of training is for an athlete to resort to blood doping and using illegal performance enhancing drugs as an edge for winning.

References:

Skating Skills and Training

Training Considerations

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

What it costs to raise an Olympian - athletes & money   Aug. 7, 2012 ... Costs for training, travel and supplies can run the tab up as high as 6 figures a year for basketball. Being an Olympic athlete isn't cheap, but for those who make the team, it can open up endorsement contracts and prize money.

Olympians' Parents Feel the Debt of Achieving Gold - ABC News   Aug. 6, 2012 ... Just how much does it take for Olympians' parents to capture that one ... "None of them [Olympic sports] come cheap when you begin to add up the ... travel and other expenses for the amount of training needed," said Miller,

Performance enhancement: Superhuman athletes : Nature News July 19, 2012 ... An amateur cyclist, Murray is among the many sports fans appalled by the .... to be good at what they're doing and they have a lot of training.” ..... and a cheap way to narrow down a large group of athletes to suspicious ones,

Sports | When parents cross the line | Seattle Times Newspaper   Trouble often follows for athletes and coaches when over involved parents cross the line from encouragement to interference. Bruce Brown's message: Let the kids play without interfering.

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
     
   
   
Fitness Training Considerations
Kirkpatrick's Evaluating Training Programs
Skating Training Environment
Training Figure Skaters
Group Classes
Fitness Training
Personal Training Plan
Daily Training Plan
Seasonal Training
Training for Junior & Senior Athletes
Age Guidelines for Training
Developing a Plan for Training
Developing Skating Skills
Group Training Stages
Training Priorities
Strategies of Sports Training
Training Task Analysis
Value of Annual Planning
Competitive Training Strategies
Verbal and Nonverbal Communications
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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