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2 thoughts on “Organized Sports and Unstructured Play in South Kitsap

  1. Oh, I don’t know that kids are really that different today in regard to unsupervised play. Whether it is pick-up basketball at the cul-de-sac hoop, summer flashlight tag, or a walk to the 7-11 for a slurpee… the only real thing I see different is that this next generation is a generation of multi-taskers and communicators.

    Flashlight tag gets a little help from text messaging to coordinate an ambush. Walking to the 7-11 doesn’t mean just talking to your friend who is going with you, but if you can text and walk, you can catch up on your friend’s vacation, find out who won your buddy’s little league game, or “cha cha” (go ahead, text a question to 242242) the name of the last pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the Majors.

    It used to be that kids would go to the library in the summer to explore the world. Now they surf the net and explore the world or their friends text them from places all over the country.

    Never played rotten apple baseball. Played a lot of “kick the can” and sandlot kick-ball, though. I also remember secret messages exchanged in bottles, left in our super-secret hiding place, near the girls fort (built much better than the boy’s fort) with my best friend. We are on the leading edge of text messaging. Amongst my favorite memories are summer blue-berry muffins, “pine cone and black berry wars”, and the zip-line at the Pilling’s “off-limits” playground on Burley Creek.

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  2. Chris: Jimmy Fallon said it in that Red Sox movie. It’s huge to be part of something bigger than you are.

    It doesn’t really matter if you play select or elite or recreational sports. As long as you’re playing. Staying in the game. That’s the goal.

    Anyone who’s ever taken a sports psychology class knows that the kids shouldn’t be critically coached until they are about 14 years old. At that point, they can handle it. They want it. They’re hooked, they want to be good at something.

    We had security where we live and my son use to think it was great fun to try and get the security guard to chase him and his friends. It took him all summer to realize that the security guard didn’t have any interest in him unless he did something wrong. It was kind of a letdown for him. I guess he thought the security guard wanted to play tag. I love boys.

    There was an FC Kitsap team from South Kitsap who are my younger son’s age. They won a state title, or maybe two. They earned the opportunity to go to Europe and compete internationally when they were about 15 years old. Well done, boys. Congratulations. It’s hard to believe. I know of their FC coach, Neil Megson, just because we use to live in Portland and had box seats at the Rose Garden for the Portland Pride during the mid ’90’s.

    I’m not sure if a bunch of small town kids can mentally handle traveling around Europe playing soccer when they’re 15 and then come back to their hometown and be respectful to adults or their high school coach. That would be a parent issue. Keeping them humble. You should look up humble in the dictionary. You are probably going to see Alex May’s picture.

    It’s a different world out there now. These soccer teams traveling around the county or the sound or the state are generating more goodwill and good press than you or I will in our lifetime. They are ambassadors. And I think they represent us pretty well. In spite of the fact that some of them are sometimes disrespectful to Coach Bergeson, they represent.

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