Posted 05 April 2015 - 11:47 AM
"I was actually going to mention the "investment" thing. The actually conversation Bryce's dad had that was on TV was very short so I wasn't sure that everyone noticed what he said. I was shocked when I heard him say that......investment? I was thinking "Are eff'ing kidding me? Did he really just say that?"
This is often an overlooked aspect of youth sports. There are dads who believe that spending the money on "professional instruction" will make their child the next elite athlete. I've seen it in baseball, soccer, basketball and golf.
When my son was 6 I got him baseball hitting lessons, 5 1/2 hour lessons for $225. They taught him the basics, then I get the call and they ask if I'm ready to sign him up for more lessons, I say no, if he doesn't know hot to hit after $225, that's it for his baseball career. A friend of mine had his son do the same lessons, and then signed him up to what was to become $4500 worth of batting lessons. My son went on to becoming one of the most feared contact hitters in his league, his boy would constantly hit it back to the pitcher, the result of always hitting in a narrow batting cage with more or less a power bunt.
As a youth coach I've seen that all these expensive lessons get the child a little more advanced than their peers, but as they grow older, true talent can't really be taught or bought, only the child decides whether he has the desire and athletic ability to implement what he's learned.
Now in tournament golf I've seen the anxiety of some dad's which are making these big investments in clubs, lessons, tournament fees and such only to watch bogeys or double bogeys, 3 putts, etc and look like they're about to go ballistic. One dad recently told me that his son was regressing to his dismay because he's not consistently breaking par yet and putting terribly. He capped it off with I'm spending so much money and I'm not sure at this rate that he can turn pro. I look at him and remember the first tournament his kid played in a couple of years back and the anxiety the dad had when his son hit a bad shot and realize that after 2 years, his son is much better, but he still has that anxiety over every shot and putt like the results will somehow determine his boy's ability to turn pro.
My son has won some tournaments and came in close to last in others. After his 1st year of tournaments I came to realize that winning was something I never looked for, I was more concerned with the process. Was he getting better at 1 thing or another along the way. Was he outgrowing his equipment, etc. Was he learning from mistakes, adapting to situations and conditions. Was he enjoying himself. I watch parents over the years keeping score, taking notes, analyzing every shot and putt.
In the end, despite all the efforts of the dad, it's the kid that has to decide what to do, make the shot and adapt.
The TV show is what it is, it would be boring if they showed each dad doing sensible reasonable things. Drama sells, even at the expense of the kids.