AGE APPROPRIATE: WHEN SHOULD YOU PUT YOUR CHILD IN SPORTS?

Toddler Playing Soccer

“Best time to start.”


when it’s time

As a parent, you can hardly wait for the time to come when you are able to put your small child in sports. Especially if you were active yourself when you were young. Seeing them suit up in that uniform for the very first time is so precious. I was 11 years old the first time I actively started to compete in sports. I went to try out for football and my mother wondered where I managed to know so much about sports given I grew up with her and my two sisters. I stood out quite well that day for tryouts. And managed to play on a team and continued to do so all through high school.

group think

We all in society have this thing where we know what the other person is going to do when they are going to do it because it is so typical. We know there is this appropriate time to do something or say something. It’s like when you have to talk to your child about where babies come from, there really is no time you want to talk to your kid. But we all know that around a certain age we have to have that talk. The same exist for sports; there are ages where people say when, but we all have come to this agreement about when. Once they start school initially, we allow them to go to school, make some friends, and then we place them into sports. This way they have some type of social skills outside of the sport.

always easy when you have an example

Whenever your child has a sibling, or better a cousin that is in sports, then you can observe from up close. You are able to see an example of around the age you can start to place your child in sports. And you can start to see when your child will become interested in sports. So the culmination of options makes the decision easier. Otherwise you will be lost. And then there are the parents who never had a sibling, parent, cousin, aunt, or uncle interested in sports. That is when the choices are really limited. You are lost, don’t know what to buy or bow to go about buying anything. But in today’s society, there are so many resources that will aid you in your decision making process.


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SQUARE-TRIANGLE-X-X-TRIANGLE: ARE GAMERS REALLY ATHLETES

Man Playing Game on Personal Computer

“Play to win, literally.”


power on and play

Parents for years have told their children that life is not all about playing games. Then you see over the years how gaming has become so lucrative. No one would have ever imagined that gamers would be making six figure, some seven figure salaries. And what are they really doing, playing video games, testing video games. But this month is about sports and from a Real Sports with Bryant Gumble, episode a question was asked. And that was, “Should gamers be rewarded scholarships like athletes?” Because gaming has gotten so big that it is now considered sport. My only criticism is, is it really? I define athletics a little differently, some don’t.

who is an athlete

To me, I look at the athletes who compete in sports as a physical task in whatever it is they are doing. It’s their own human skill, not their ability to work around a computer system. Because if we are going to add gamers as athletes, why not chess players. Because to me, chess is more impressive than gaming. Another reason gaming is not athletics to me is because let’s say we are playing a sports video game. No one is buying a video game playing with gamers. You buy Madden to play with NFL players or a baseball came to play with MLB players. So if gamers are athletes, then traditional athletes are superstars. Because there will never be a game where gamers take the profile of gamers to play other gamers. There is no real objective to the game. It would be like playing the Playstation so we can play this guy with a high score against this guy with a high score in a game. So it becomes a game in a game that no one wants to play.

we play, just a different kind of sport

They may not be athletes in the traditional sense. But let’s for a second assume that they are athletes. They would fall under the category of amateur sport. Now, the big gamers don’t play sporting games, they play well known fantasy or first person shooter games. Still some people are not convinced, but we have to look at it as competition. That doesn’t mean sport because of competition, since physical activity is involved. But, also remember, there is a entertainment for spectator aspect to the competition that could make it a sport. What makes gamers upset that they are not seen as athletes is that what they do: skills, competition, tournaments resulting in championships, cooperation, are integral to sports. Yet, still, the real objective of sports is your human skill against mine. What would make gamers athletes is if they turned their favorite games real. So that it was their physical ability versus the other person. So let’s turn Call of Duty into a sport, but on second let’s not. Because that’s not sport, that’s war, making it more violent than any sport out here.


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ROLE MODELS: WHY WE PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON ATHLETES

 

Nfl Stadium Field Full With Crowd Watching the Game during Daytime

“Role models, really?”


the chosen ones

For the longest, athletes have been seen as these role models, especially to a younger generation. But what happens when the onus is on the athlete to raise the children of society. Because that is what being a person who is the athlete has become. It used to be people looked to politicians for the direction of a nation. Now people are looking to their entertainment as a means of productivity and raising children. And when you look at the mental issues of people in the public eye, it’s no wonder a society has them as well. But in my opinion, being a role model and mirroring your life after another person is different. But why so much pressure?

vintage americans

Elvis, was a role model, as was the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra. How about the athletes like Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath. But they were not expected to raise people’s children. These guys partied, drank, had women, some guys even did drugs. But American didn’t care because everyone had their own existence. Now, we look at these men and say how they don’t carry themselves as role models like the guys in the past. When in reality, guys today carry themselves better now because there is such a spotlight on them. So for me there seems to be this much needed use of oversight into the households of so many in today’s society that was not needed in the past.

money means a lot

I bought something that was yours, so now I can do whatever. This mentality that I bought a t-shirt, that gives me a piece of real estate over you. But that mind frame is very selective in society. Because we contribute to a lot of stuff that we would never think to just walk up to a politician and snap a photo. And we are the people who personally elect them to office. We also throw vast amounts of money into brands, and if we see the CEO who runs the company, we wouldn’t dare approach them with ridiculous behavior making demands. There is a comfort that people have with one we wouldn’t dare with the other.

no self control, no home control

People don’t have a lot of control in their own lives, so this is their control. They know that sports and entertainment will fold when they get upset, so we place these labels like role model on them. We can’t connect to our children, so the best way to connect is buying them more toys. But the reality is that parents want television to raise children and also want some form of control because they don’t have life control.


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TRUE HEROICS: WHY ARE ATHLETES PLACED ABOVE OUR UNITED STATES TROOPS?

Related image

“Those who serve or those who service us with entertainment?”


Recently, former NFL quarterback and social activist Colin Kaepernick was given the front cover of GQ magazine. He was recognized for his efforts in combating what he deemed to be prejudice against the African American population from members of law enforcement. And next, there was an onslaught of controversy since he decided to take a knee during the national anthem in football. Now people are criticizing the magazine stating that they should have put a real hero on the front cover. A hero, like one of the men or women that serve in our United States Armed Forces. There are a few reasons as to why they won’t and people in society play a hand in why this doesn’t happen as well. Because I’m sure that athletes and entertainers would have no issue with members of the United States military on front covers of popular magazines.

Here is the first issue I have with people stating that there should be a member of the U.S. military on the cover. For starters, athletes never said they were the heroes of America. Since they’re on television and get paid a lot of money, we as a society automatically make them heroes. We tell our children to be like them, but they never held this mass press conference and told young people to be them. Yes, they are in a more privileged position than most, but we put the pressure there in their lives. Why are they heroes, the United States military are the true heroes. But you don’t buy magazines to see military personnel on the front cover. You don’t watch sports and entertainment to see everything surrounding the military. And that’s what leads me into my next argument for why the troops are considered less heroes than athletes.

See, it’s easier to tell a kid to follow the athlete. Go to college, get out, have a career, and make good money. Joining the military comes with a risk, and that’s the risk of battle. Parents want their kids to go to college not to war. So if military personnel started popping up on magazines and in television shows, these same flag and military loving people would turn. Because it would appear as if pop culture is now geared toward making the cool and in thing to join the military. And parents would take issue with advertisers and marketers appealing to the senses of kids to fight in battle. Just think of it, McDonald’s, Nike, PEPSI, and entertainment with soldiers. Kids will think the cool thing is to join the military. Because that’s why children love athletes; what they do is considered fun, in style, cool, interesting, and great entertainment.

Even the military commercials they do have, people take issue with because it’s made to look entertaining for recruiting. Whether it’s soldiers running through the desert wheeling a rifle or an older commercial that used to come on where the kid was dropping his school books to join the Marines. In the end, this promoting is actually a good idea because you would see who truly cares about the military and who don’t care. It’s easy to wave a flag, but it’s a lot harder to sacrifice your child under the assumption that it’s for the good of the country. Because true heroics is about ultimate sacrifice such as the military; so if athletes are above soldiers in this country, ask yourself that question?


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OH SAY CAN YOU STAND! WHAT COULD BE THE REAL ISSUE WITH NFL PROTEST

Image result for nfl protest

“Stand for something.”


Over the past couple of weeks, the news has been tracking the controversy over the protest by athletes over the national anthem. A move which have sent fans of football over the top. People feel that the protest is disrespectful to the flag and others feel it is disrespectful to the military. While you have a collection of people who feel both sentiment. Then there the viewers on the other end of the spectrum who feel that the players should be protesting the anthem over police brutality. But my question is, How many of these people are really upset over the national anthem?” Is it just the anthem, or is it more of a conversation that people don’t want to have? Are people stating that it is the anthem as a way to hide behind their true feelings? I have a few theories as to why, but I also have observed why it has to be more than just disrespect.

Fans of sports are saying it’s disrespectful, but there are much worse acts that go against the flag than an NFL protest. And for the most part, all we do is ignore the act. Yet, when an athlete kneels, you would think the world was going to end. If you are against the desecration of the flag, then why are you only compelled to act now? Why wait until a player kneel then go on the attack. It seems just as self serving as the athletes at this point. Especially not even a full month ago men and women marched holding Confederate flags and Swastikas in the streets of Virginia. And countless troops lost their lives during World War 2 fighting the Nazis. So for people to not come out in droves, it was quite odd to see it now. But I have three reasons why people are not as interested in the anthem; yet using the troops as something to hide behind.

Number one, you have the group that knows police brutality and racism exist, but just want to ignore it. They figure, maybe if I ignore it, it will go away. Just act like it is something that is just an isolated incident, then we can go about our daily lives. Because I work all week, and the last thing I want to hear is more politics. Now what I want is to come to the game and or watch it at home with my family. We get it it, you hate Trump, can I just watch this game in peace. This is to me the first level of people you have in America that are against the protest from the players. And then there are the second wave of people that exist who are against the National Anthem protest. And they are the I know it exist types of people, yet it’s not my problem.

The it’s not my problem people are the ones who say, “I know that it goes on, but it’s not my community.” They don’t care if you are getting abused by law enforcement or treated fairly because it isn’t reflective of where they live. To this group they are more concerned with what ales them and that’s it. They know when you walk up the street you’re going to deal with a degree of hate from someone if you’re a minority. But hey, when I walk throughout my community, it doesn’t look this way. And the police that are in my neighborhood are usually officers that live here in this neighborhood. So they way I see it, play ball and shut up. So this group feels this way, yet are they the only group outside the first group I explained? No; the third group are the real cynical people. They not only don’t care, but agree with the nature of the offense that is being protested.

They are the people who say, “I know it goes on, and you’re lucky it isn’t worse.” “Be happy you’re free in America to any extent because you shouldn’t have that much; now shut up and play football.” They are the people that would love to express their sentiment of how much they truly hate you, but can’t. So they hide behind fake profiles on the internet and talk trash. These people just want to be mad at anything, and at times they themselves exemplify disrespect for the flag. Yet now they can have a reason to be in on the hatred under the guise of the flag and military troops. And in the end, this is the fan base of football and how people feel. People love the flag and the troops, but to the extent that fans are going to, no. Because there are too many symbols that actually do spit in the face of America’s existence that we give a pass to, or ignore that are worse than the protest. But in this country people don’t express true sentiment, unless it’s in the comforts of their own homes.


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LEBRON HATE: WHY PEOPLE WANT HIM TO FAIL SO BAD

Image result for lebron james

“He’s not the first and won’t be the last.”


NBA All-Star Lebron James has been dealing with controversy ever since he decided to leave Cleveland the first time and head to the Miami Heat. Since then, he has returned to Cleveland, yet the hate has still been going strong. And now that he has surpassed Michael Jordan as the all-time leader in scoring in the playoffs, people having been making the comparison. Now, more hate than ever has popped up because he’s being compared to arguably the greatest NBA player in history. So I started to come up with a theory as to why people may have an issue with Lebron being compared to Jordan. And it has to do with two things: his move to Miami and breaking records.

The first issue people have with Lebron and being compared to Jordan is that Jordan never left the Bulls for another team. When he left basketball, it was to go to play baseball and that was for a short stint. Jordan also never asked other athletes for help because he couldn’t win a championship with the Bulls himself. So that move caused a lot of people to not like him also. Nonetheless, he went 2-4 in wins in the NBA finals with the Miami Heat before returning to Cleveland. Then, as he returned, his first year back, he was defeated by Golden State Warriors, then beat them next year. Now, he is in the conversation with the greats. People are still not willing to let go of the Miami move and don’t feel he earned his rings. But another reason for the disdain is the broken records.

We look at Michael Jordan as this deity of basketball, so when Lebron surpassed him, it was major. Lebron has not only broken his playoff point record, but also seems to show no signs of slowing down. We look at Jordan like this unbeatable God that no one in our lifetime could beat, then James comes along and crush. And that’s the hate he receives, he crushed so many belief systems in the impossible. When you think you have witnessed something special and someone comes along and completely kills the idea of the impossible. But people, come on now, records are meant to be broken. Just as Lebron broke MJ’s record, someone will eventually come along to beat Lebron’s records.

See, in the end, Lebron is not the only person to be compared to a past beloved athlete and get rejected. And now James is in the NBA finals and more people want him to lose more than ever. They want him to lose so bad, and it’s sad. Sad, not just because people are routing another man’s failure. Sad because their greatest moment in life might be another man’s misfortune.


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LAVARTHERHOOD: WHY PEOPLE ARE SO UPSET OVER CONFIDENT PARENTING

Image result for LaVar Ball

“What’s the big deal?”


The above photograph is of a father who has three sons. One in college who is a rising NBA prospect and two other young sons highly ranked in high school. But them being ranked high is not the topic of discussion. The real discussion is how one should bring up their children in society. Lavar Ball has been in sports news recently because he admitted that he feels his son Lonzo Ball, a standout basketball player at UCLA and prospective NBA draft pick,  is better than current NBA star Stephen Curry. Sports reporters came from every outlet possible stating how much they disagree with his stance. But most of all, they are critical of how he has thrust himself into the spotlight. But the more I hear Lavar speak, the more something interesting comes to mind.

Lavar Ball was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles. For those of you who are unfamiliar with South Central Los Angeles, it has long been a community of gangs, crime, single parent households, and poverty. Coincidentally enough, the time period when Lavar was in high school, is when Crack Cocaine was first introduced to Los Angeles. Plenty of young Black males were getting involved in the drug trade, many Lavar’s age. Yet Lavar focused himself on sports. So much so, it granted him collegiate attention. And with the birth of his sons in his late twenties into his thirties, he began to instill that competitive edge he once had himself in sports. Well, what does any of this have to do with parenting?

Back to the area where Lavar is from in Los Angeles. South Central is a place where having both parents in the household is more of a luxury in life. So seeing a Black male in the lives of his sons given his background you would think it would mean something. Not so, well why? Because me personally, I think it’s great that a father instills the confidence to make them believe they can beat the best of the best. People are angry as if to say. “Who do you think you are, expecting so much from your sons!” But shouldn’t he expect more from them? Isn’t this what we should be doing as parents? I thought parents are supposed to feel their children are the best. Why is having excessive confidence in your child a bad thing?

What is a man like Lavar to do? Say, “Hey, of course he (Stephen Curry) can beat my son.” Or, “Hey I would say my son could play just fine.” You’re supposed to think your son can beat anyone, even the greats. Especially in a country where so few expectations are held for the young Black males. So to see a Black man pushing his sons in the right direction, shouldn’t this be encouraged? But also, weren’t all fathers like this decades ago? Every father pushed their kids, especially their sons. But we have become such a sensitive society, that Lavar is seen as problematic. If this were thirty plus years ago, no one would even care that Lavar had even made the statement.

You see, in the end, fathers are supposed to think the most of their children. You’re supposed to not only think your son can beat Curry, but can catch Kareem Abdul Jabbar as well (who currently holds the NBA record for most points in NBA history). But with confidence and pride comes criticism today. Winning has taken a backseat to losing or being equal in society. Mediocrity has become the new trend in America. Where the men and women in power want you to remain mundane, while they hold the majority of power. Remember Marianne Williamson, “When you let your own light shine, you will unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” “For when you are liberated from your own fears, you will automatically liberate others around you.”