It’s hard for me to think about growing up without thinking about Sports. Most of my childhood friendships had something to do with playing sports together. So much of the instruction about life in general from my dad had sports as the setting. Even when I think of my southern-mannered, gentle, and sweet grandmother it’s hard to not think about her making comments about a bad umpire or about how a referee had cost my team the game. As I think about the highest highs and lowest lows of my childhood, sports are somehow involved. While I certainly played a lot of sports as a child it wasn’t all that I did. I enjoyed school, I was in choir and the school plays, I was class president throughout middle and high school, I was involved in my church, and I was in a rock band called “The Big Red Cup,” but the drama of sports, the excitement of the game, the hard work, and the competition are what is most deeply etched in my mind.
When I was a kid I never thought much about the good or the bad of sports, I just played because I loved it and because all of my friends were playing. But now I am a father and any sports glory is half of my life ago, but as a father I find myself asking more questions about sports. Are sports good? Should I push my children to play sports? How much time should we give to sports? Is it ok to prioritize sports over church attendance? What if my kids don’t want to play should I make them? Is it worth injuries that can plague you for life for a few years of glory? And most basically, what are the lessons that I should seek to teach my kids as they play?
If you have ever asked these questions or questions like them, I would like to invite you to the next Spotted Cow.