Since there are no meets scheduled for this Memorial Day weekend, we take a break from our regularly scheduled review of Terra Linda Orca meet results to look at summer exercise plans.
In the Ask Beth column on May 28, 2011 Beth was asked by a reader about her ten year old practicing for a single sport 30 hours per week over the summer. The kid was already doing 12 hours, which seems excessive. Consider the fact that Orcas that age practice 1 hour per day, as many as 5 days a week. Last year right after the Marin Swim League Championships my daughters pretty much didn’t want to go back into the water for the rest of the summer. I’d say that was more than enough, and I’m just glad they returned this year. Anything more might have led them to abhor the sport for life!
This summer through the Marin Swim League Championships on July 9 my daughters will likely be swimming five evenings a week again or as little as three times, but the frequency is up to them. If they want they can do sessions in the morning too when offered like they did last year. My daughter Sky was intent on breaking a breaststroke record last year and put a lot of pressure on herself by doing double practices regularly and we had to get her to back off. It just wasn’t healthy for her. It would have been great for her to break the record, but at what expense? It would not have been worth it if she ended up hating the sport.
When I was a kid during the summers I generally did two sports per day, sometimes three. Or my parents would drop me off at the Mill Valley Golf Course with a friend and they’d pick us up in the evening. I can see kids golfing all day because one can naturally spend a day on a course. That’s pretty much the only sport I’d condone practicing all day because you can basically just play and have fun with it.
I can see kids hanging out at a beach and playing volleyball and between surf sessions. That’s more of a Southern California activity schedule, but if my kids were into it I’d love to facilitate that type of schedule this summer, as well as play alongside them. Tennis is a great summertime activity, and a good way to start or end a summer day. The hills around our houses here in Marin are perfect for skateboarding, and we’ve even got McInnis and Hamilton Skate Parks close by which are free. There is also nothing like battling a friend in ping-pong for an afternoon, and I’ve got many fond memories of summer days spent exchanging slams with my best friend at his table between swimming, tennis and skateboarding sessions. I didn’t start bike riding down Mount Tam until we hit sixteen and could drive our bikes to the top and ride down on our black Schwinn one speed cruisers. But biking is not a bad idea for a summertime activity.
With my extensive background in summertime fun I can’t imagine asking or expecting my daughters to practice and prepare for one sport day after day for 30 hours a week. That sounds like a horrible way to spend a summer, again unless that sport is golf. This morning I asked my daughters if they’d like to play one sport 30 hours per week. They responded ‘no’ in unison.
However they’d prefer that instead of school, naturally. Sorry kids, that’s not an option.