Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

June 26, 2006

Sports for fun?

Filed under: common sense, cultural values, sports — texased @ 6:14 pm

A New Competitive Sport: Grooming the Child Athlete – New York Times:

Sports Potential sells a $135 test called Smart, which analyzes the cognitive and physical skills of children ages 8 to 12 to determine potential in 38 sports. As part of the results, children and parents each get a personal Web site, where they can learn sports terms and drills and track their progress.

First, whatever happen to playing a sport to have fun?

Second, my guess would be that the people who use this test aren’t interested in sports readiness or avoiding burnout.

A New Competitive Sport: Grooming the Child Athlete – New York Times:

We’re about helping parents be better parents.”

Again, I could be totally wrong, but I would imagine that most parents who use this product will have children who have already been playing in several sports for several years. They’re going to use the test to figure out which sports their children will excel at and focus their time and money on that area.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? During eight years of Little League do you know who often I heard, “well, if they don’t start now, they won’t be able to play at all when they’re 10.” We’re talking about six year olds. Most would say that eight is pushing it for starting baseball. The YMCA will let them play as young as three! And these are the “recreational” leagues where everyone is supposed to play. Sadly, it’s a self-fulling prophesy.

3 Comments »

  1. I was excited to see the Sports Potential SMART test in the New York Times last Sunday as I have had the opportunity to have my child take this test in Massachusetts last year. I have to say that, in fact, this was a great test that took a little under two hours and helped my “tween age” child discover sports programs that were a better match for her physical skills than the sports my husband and I kept signing her up for.

    She was beginning to think she just wasn’t an athlete and this test opened her up to more than a dozen new sports that utilized her skills. I am happy to say that she has now found a sport that is a good match for her and has had excellent success. I would highly recommend this test to any parent. PS: I thought the fee for the test was small in comparison to all of the lessons, equipment etc. we’ve paid for sports she wasn’t developed enough to play!!

    Comment by duxburymom — July 5, 2006 @ 5:12 pm

  2. As a sports parent, I think this type of test is a good idea. Better to know about your child’s skills are so that you can help him choose sports where he might have a good experience. We test children for other skills, why not sports.

    Comment by sports parent — July 5, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  3. I was going to delete the two comments since they are so obviously business promotion if not spam but I thought they were revealing in their own way.

    Comment #1: Were the parents signing her up for sports she requested or they requested? Define success. Did the coach think she was bad, the parents, or the child? So what sports and how much did you spend? This is the perfect ad for the parents who have the money to spend to make sure their children successfully participate in the right schools and the right extra-curricular activities.

    Comment #2: So if a child is a poor reader, she shouldn’t try reading since she would probably have to read below grade level? As for the good experience, I suspect having the right coach is a better indicator of having a good experience rather than the right skills. But you can’t test and charge for that. Wait a minute, I think I’ve got an idea…

    Comment by texased — July 6, 2006 @ 8:37 pm


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