Editor’s note: Following is a letter we received responding to our Nov. 17 editorial, “Kids Games”:
I am the father of a 14-year-old son who has participated in a variety of sports, most within the Cedar Rapids (high school) feeder system. As a rule, his experiences have been good. At the same time, many of the points your article raises are legitimate. Who does a feeder system feed? What are we giving up?
I asked one baseball coach if I could help a poor kid by contributing the kid’s registration fees. The coach said he had never had a poor kid try out for his team. Annual baseball expenses for a kid can reportedly run from about $400 to more than $5,000. Baseball use to be a path for a poor kid to improve his lot in life with no entry fee beyond sweat and dedication.
I overheard a team discussion where the next practice had to be canceled because the team would be missing several players. I suggested if they played “work-up” they could hold the practice. Apparently the game of work-up was not in their vocabulary. Sandlot ball. Making and enforcing your own rules. Thinking, adapting and working out disagreements between teammates. These characteristics happen to be among those most sought by employers.
Those are also the experiences I fondly remember from my childhood baseball. How can we retain some of these attributes in our adult-led sports?
I’m sure the feeder system would willingly open itself to inspection and improvement. Thanks for your kickoff.
KSF Associates, Inc.
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