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Youth sports vent


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Ugh! I know we get this topic on occasion. My two oldest kids have played baseball on the same teams for 4 years. They have been with the same core group of players the whole time and have made good friends.


Well, at the end of spring season my older son's team split into a "select" team and a "Rec" team. My older son is on the select team and I am hating all the pressure. On the bright side, all of his close friends are on the team with him (at least until someone can't keep up).


Now, I just got an email that my 7yr olds team is splitting into select/rec for spring. My 7 yr old is right in the middle, so I am not sure which team he will be on (we should find out this week). All of his best friends will be on the select team. I would prefer he be placed on the Rec team, but I know he will be so sad and miss his friends.


I think I was just blindsided by splitting the team. These teams have played together for a long time and I felt so lucky to have found a great group of kids. I think I am hypersensitive about it. Since my kids are homeschooled their teams are a big part of their "community." I guess I need to look for community outside of sports.


To be fair, I think the coaches are handling it really well. Everyone will still have a team so no one is getting kicked off. I'm just sad that all this has to happen at 7 years old.

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Sorry you're dealing with this. I was an athlete growing up. I lettered every season in high school for four years. I played in college. I GET sports. I'm so glad my kids have zero interest in team sports. It seems in one generation all the fun was sucked out of it. I would recommend Upward sports if it's in your area. It's the one kid sports league that was fun/learning based, and had reasonable time expectations.


FWIW, the earlier you bail the easier it will be, and yes, I'd look for other outlets for friends and social stuff. I know a couple homeschool families who have middle/high schoolers and no connection to the hs community because rec sports was their outlet. It's hard - is supposed to be something fun, and it seems the adults have forgotten that.

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It definitely seems that the split between rec and select/elite/travel teams happens way earlier than it did when I was a kid. One of my sons plays ice hockey, and the initial split occurred at about age 8, and as he gets older there is further splitting with some travel kids being chosen for AAA tournament teams. Part of the reason, at least in hockey, is that players start getting groomed fairly young for scouting that starts around age 14. We have known kids that wanted to start playing hockey at "later" ages and they could only do so if they had natural talent and lots of time and money for private coaching.


We have cultivated community outside of sports because there will always be changes when teams start being more about competition and less about recreation. We are involved in our church, our community classes, and an educational co-op, so we are able to see familiar faces in a lot of our activities.


It's funny that FriedClams mentioned Upward. We did one season of an Upward sport, and DS hated it. The director was not good with kids or families, and the teams were unfairly divided so that one team always dominated. It was also very expensive. That made me sad, because I'd heard so many good things about Upward and our experience was such a bummer.

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