Category Archives: sports and outdoors

You have your whole life to refine your mind…

You have your entire life to refine your mind. But if you don’t refine your body when you are a kid, you might struggle your entire life! And who likes being overweight? No one, last I checked!

Does school teach the following? Do parents know?

1. Childhood obesity has been found to be the greatest risk factor for premature death due to chronic disease.
2. Many adult cancers are linked to poor childhood nutrition.
3. May 2008 in the journal Nature — “…people who got fat during childhood may find it more difficult to shift the weight later in life”

Yesterday one of my kids came home from school and informed me that he was outside and running around for “6 hours” that day — fort-building, ultimate frisbee games, a 3-way tag/capture-the-flag game that someone had invented, etc, etc. He only went inside to sign-in and out, use the bathroom, and grab his lunch (which he ate outside).

More at:

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Filed under play, sports and outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

The problem of innate talent and competitive youth sports as a ticket


“[O]ver the years we’ve run into parents who really push their kids. They love their kids but they want to ensure that their kids are going to be successful. And they somehow get bought into, “sports is a ticket.” There’re studies that have shown that it’s very hard to try to predict athletic talent. There’s just a study done in Europe like with 4- or 5,000 tennis players and judo players at the junior level. And there wasn’t a very good correlation between being a junior-ranked player and being a senior-ranked player.”
– Only a Game on NPR
Dr. Dan Gould, the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University, spoke with Bill Littlefield about the implications of recruiting kids.

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Filed under exceptionalism, sports, sports and outdoors, talent vs skill

Sports — just let them play

“I learned that early — just to let them play. And if I see some things I will say ‘Listen… this is important, this is what you gotta pay attention to.’ ”
— Bobby Carpenter, Former Boston Bruin
Interviewed on “Olympic Zone” 2/19/2014 on TV discussing his hockey playing kids — including his daughter — now Olympian Alex Carpenter

So perfect! This also works great with downhill skiing with kids. No need for structured, formal lessons per se — they sometimes kill the fun. Instead, try lots of actual skiing with some select comments here or there — mostly learning by doing and watching good skiers.

I’m not saying lessons or advice isn’t useful… they certainly are. But in limited doses and most importantly never at the expense of FUN. I’m also not against organized sports where one is following rules carefully … it’s often been my personal experience that playing team sports properly and by the rules is much more fun than just horsing around. But there is also plenty of time for that. So let them play / skate / ski!

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Filed under ageism, kids -- freedom and responsibility, play, sports and outdoors


see also:
Children’s Wild Fun: Do You Crave it or Avoid it?

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Filed under nature / outdoors, sports and outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

“Just the freedom was better than breathing they said”

“Just the freedom was better than breathing they said”
Lupe Fiasco, “Kick/Push”

This is totally out of context of course (a rap song remixed by Bassnectar) but when L started (out of the blue) at Sudbury Valley School back in June (Mid-June, why not!), I could just tell that the freedom was *very* *very* important to him and his decision that NOW he was ready for SVS to be HIS school too. Now 6 months later, he is still a very little guy, so even though he goes to SVS 4 days a week, he still also really loves the cozier scene once in a while (once every week roughly) over at the neighborhood daycare he was previously at more regularly. Anyway, it’s his choice and I feel privileged to be able to provide it to him, and to just let him do HIS thing. Go L!

I am almost embarrassed that his quick transition to wanting to go to SVS surprised me, but it did. I mean, forget the terrible twos, I think ages 3-5 is an amazing and difficult and dynamic part of childhood because kids are growing in independence so quickly yet still needing/wanting the parental attention and attachment. Anyway, each kid is different… A and L certainly are, but it is a joy (usually 😉 to spend time with them and get to know them!

I should also note: this song is also appropriate because there is a lot of skateboarding and longboarding going on at SVS lately. An all-ages affair of course.

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Filed under attachment parenting, freedom, sports and outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School