So, I have a reputation for being a bad sports mom.
I don't wear the jersey and go to every game, clanging a cowbell.
But I'm trying.
The deal was that if Dominic (13) didn't play football this year, I'd step it up as a basketball mama. I would go to more games. I wouldn't bring any papers to grade there. I would pay attention, and at the end, I would know whether Dominic's team won or lost.
Last night, Dave and I drove an hour and a half to Klamath Falls to watch our boy on the court. From under the basket, he waved at me enthusiastically. I love that kid.
By the third quarter (44-24, Klamath Falls), I got a little antsy, though. A grandma sitting near me was scribbling down her shopping list, and I was coveting, obsessing over that notepad.
Eyes on the game, I couldn't stop thinking. What if education drew the same support that sports did?
What if parents drove an hour and a half twice a week for Brain Bowls, Odysseys of the Mind, Spelling Bees, music recitals? And what if half the school showed up to watch?
What if teacher to student ratios were 1:6?
What if money used on transportation for coaches' stipends and team transportation were matched in school libraries?
What if the learning process used the team concept, where students shared a common goal and worked together for months to achieve it?
What if academic school pride matched that of the athletic kind?
What if hordes of parents got together to cheer on students with math?
What if kids practiced reading and writing for two hours every day after school?
What if the arts were as valued as baseball?
What if weeklong celebrations like homecoming revolved around science instead of football?
The bottom line is that athletics are great. They keep kids fit, involved, and out of trouble. I played soccer forever, was on swim team, joined college intramurals. I married a two-sport college athlete; together, we made us some sporty babies. I know the stats, too: higher SATs, lower drug use.
But, from the bleachers, I can't help wondering why if a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of these young athletes will go on to use their talents professionally, what is happening with the much larger number of them who won't?
FALL 2015 TOUR
1 year ago