Parents are seeking out better and better teams for their children, leaving some local teams desperate for new players and families that they can involve in the long term.
David Sherwin* is a local father who has a son that just recently became old enough to compete in sports in his city. He didn’t expect how competitive the little league scene would be. “Days after my son turned 7, I started receiving calls and pamphlets in the mail begging us to consider their team for my son. As time went by, I was getting what basically equates to bribes to try and convince me to bring my son to their team. One local team offered a steak dinner to ‘discuss our future’, while another team came and mowed my lawn into the shape of their team emblem.” Recounts David*. “My son is really only interested in soccer, but the lacrosse team hinted that they might help with my mortgage, so I’m considering making him try out for that team as well.”
The reason for this sudden increase in recruitment for local teams is because so many parents have become very discerning in what team their children play for. With the rise in fast food, most children aren’t in the excellent physical condition that they used to be, so finding a team that ‘wins frequently’ is getting harder and harder. Teresa Robbins* is a mother of a boy who is also still shopping for a team. We asked her what she was doing to find a team, and why they hadn’t signed up yet. “I’m really just wanting to find a team that Bobby* can play on where he wins a LOT. It shouldn’t matter that Bobby* weighs 240 lbs, it should be equal opportunity, even for the overweight kids! When I took Bobby* to meet with the baseball coach I had to spend 30 minutes convincing him that Bobby* is only 8 years old!”
Other parents have given up on team sports altogether. We asked some parents on the street what they thought about their local sports teams, and they weren’t even sure how to respond.
“What? Local sports teams? Oh I don’t know, I’m sure they’ll win, or whatever, this year.” – Terry Bradford*
“No thank you, I don’t agree with PETA’s marketing techniques.” – Passerby who likely didn’t understand the question.
“Does it matter that I’m a felon? I like your shoes.” – Our conversation was interrupted when we started running away.
Maxine Wood* a local advocate for children’s sports teams says that she doesn’t know how much longer sports will be able to survive. “I’m afraid we might just watch sports disappear forever. With those darn video games creeping in and stealing our children’s attention, as well as things like drugs and that crafting mine thingy. I just think we could be seeing the end of an era.”
What do you think? Are your local teams fairing better or worse? Let us know in the comments below.
* Name changed for anonymity