Resisting the Premiere Sports Pressure

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premiere sports

My oldest son has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old. To say he loves soccer is an understatement. We joke that, as an Italian, it’s in his blood. The truth of the matter is, it’s his passion. Having said that, my husband and I have resisted the pressure to put him on a premiere team. In fact, it was never even a thought in our minds until this summer. A few weeks ago a coach who watched him play a few times approached me to try and recruit him. 

My son is 8 years old and being recruited for a premiere soccer team. That’s bananas!

When the coach first started talking to me about my son, I will admit I felt proud and honored. Then I took a moment to remember a conversation with a family friend. Her soon-to-be freshman in college played premiere when he was younger. She told me, “If I could do it again, I would never spend the money and time.” When I asked for more details she explained to me that most premiere teams prohibit their players from playing for their high schools.

As a fourth grade teacher, I have seen many 9 and 10 year olds who are already burned out for the sport they once loved. The current demands of premiere teams are crushing their love of the sport. In addition to the burn out, there are more injuries due to overuse and exhaustion. A quick google search confirmed that most professional athletes didn’t specialize in a sport until high school, and that they credit their success to the multi-sport lifestyle they had as a youngster. 

So, while it was pretty cool to be approached by this coach, our family is choosing to resist the pressure to join a premiere team at this time. He will still play team soccer, just not at a premiere level. This way my son can continue to experience as many sports as he likes, like his newest love: baseball.

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Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.

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