Sports are becoming more and more competitive with each new generation producing a new set of super athletes creating a new set of standards and setting new records. It must be the steroids in the cows, right?! Seriously, as we evolve, new benchmarks are set and become regular performance standards as old records disappear—hard to believe when it seems that each new generation just gets lazier and larger. And, there are a billion more options of things to do these days. There are so many things to choose from that each option has a billion more options – gosh, no wonder ADD is so rampant. Is that a cookie? I like cookies. They go best with milk but I do like coffee, sometimes tea. What were we talking about?
Oh yeah, sports. I remember whenever my Dad or Grandpa would start with “when I was your age…” I knew he was about to tell me how much harder they had it than I did. I know any parent can relate to this, AND has done the same to their kid(s). It was a simpler time when I was growing up, just like all the shopping centers around this valley were orchards when our grandparents were kids – I’m feeling old now. It’s true, though. I have talked about this before: we did not have the option to watch cartoons twenty-four-seven, or have a half dozen video game consoles to choose from, the internet, cell phone apps, or cell phones for that matter. The Atari console wasn’t even released until the mid-seventies, so we didn’t even have much for video games. Our “handhelds” were little plastic boxes filled with water that you shot air bubbles into by pushing a button to try and get a little ball into a basket. Boy that was fun . . .for about five minutes. Surfing the TV didn’t take long because there were only a handful of channels, which we changed with a dial on the actual TV. Remember that?!
So what did we have? Imagination. We played. And played. And played. We played until the street lights came on or my parents honked the horn. We played sports, tag, hide and seek. We played whatever we could think of. We even made up games and sports. What I am taking the long way to get at is simply that I could imagine the look on my Dad’s face if I asked him “hey Dad, I am not very good at (insert sport of your choice) can you hire a personal trainer to teach me how to play it better?” First of all, that would probably insult him. He is the Dad; the one who is supposed to teach how to swing, kick, throw, catch, or whatever. If not, you would go out with your friends and play anyway and sooner or later you would probably get it. If not, you tried a different sport. These days it’s different. Sports are highly competitive and it is more and more common to hire professional trainers for private or team lessons. Even the coaches hire trainers.
I have considered it many times with Nolan just to give him that edge to be able to compete at the level necessary, and also because I can only do so much for him as a coach. Because of Nolan’s summer birthday, he is always one of the youngest on the team. This is good and bad; I firmly believe that it is always good to play with stronger players. It helps us push ourselves and become better. I think it has been good for Nolan but I also think that extra lessons will help and get him to the next level. So, this is something that Kerry and I are exploring. We are looking for something that won’t just seem like extra work and practice to him, but will also be fun and exciting. See, Nolan is getting close to the age where he can have that option to move from recreational to competitive if he so chooses. As that time approaches, I need to understand that I can no longer teach him everything he needs in order to get to the next level. I also need to understand that he may not want to go that route. So, we are starting the discussions now to get his feelings and feedback on the idea. We don’t want to push or force him in any direction; we do want him to understand his options. Before we know it, he will be in high school; that means competitive, not recreational sports.
– Kevin Williams
VP & Dad