My little brother, Eli, is 13 and plays Quad Cities baseball in the summer. While watching one of his games the other day with my dad, I was informed of these "All-Star" traveling teams, made up of kids Eli's age, or even younger. When I asked my dad what these teams were, he explained it to me. Basically, they're teams made up of the "best" players. Not everyone is allowed to be on these teams, just the supposed "all-stars."
Now, I know I'm not the only one who finds this completely absurd. What adults can honestly tell 12 and 13-year-olds that they're not good enough to play on a sports team? That just doesn't sit right with me at all.
In a school district as small as ours, we want to get as many kids as possible playing sports. But when certain kids aren't allowed to play because they aren't "good" enough, it discourages them from going out for sports as they get older. If you tell a kid at a young age that they aren't good enough to play a sport, why would they want to go out for it later on? I'm not just talking about baseball, here. I'm talking about all of the sports that have these year-round teams: volleyball and basketball being two of the major ones.
Sports, at that age, aren't supposed to be about competition. If they win, great, but if not, it doesn't really matter. I mean, it's just a game, right? Let kids be kids and enjoy themselves and play the game that they like to play.
I know that writing this won't get rid of these teams, but hopefully it'll make more parents, and kids, aware of what's going on. This issue isn't a very well-known one, but I'm glad I was informed of it. Parents, if your kids aren't allowed on these "all-star" teams, I ask you to encourage them to continue to go out for these sports.
Don't let anybody tell them they're not good enough to do what they want to do. I was always told as I was growing up to follow my dreams, to work hard at whatever I wanted to do and I would succeed. I'd like to give the same advice to kids, and teens, everywhere: you are good enough, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you. Keep working hard, keep a positive attitude, and you can accomplish anything.