Would you want your kid on a Wheeties box, Renee Septimus wondered here on Kveller. She talked about the kind of things that young Olympic athletes must be giving up to acheive their level of success–school, summer camp, birthday parties, etc.
Renee concluded: I’m glad my children lived “average” lives. They turned into well-rounded, self-actualized adults with many interests, good relationships, and satisfying careers.
As someone who spent several years covering Olympic sports for ABC, ESPN, and TNT, as the older sister and official chaperone of a brother who was the 1996 US Novice Ice Dancing Champion and, last but not least, a mom, myself, I have a different perspective on the subject. Read the rest of this entry →
We all love Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and the rest of the USA women’s gymnastics team. They were the only team I tried to catch when they performed. I don’t enjoy watching sports, but I love ballet and I am astonished at what those young women could do with their bodies. Their movements seem to take dance to another level.
But I wonder–at what cost? What do athletes like Aly and Gabby give up to achieve perfection in their sport? Surely they give up the typical childhood and adolescence most people have. And although when you are going through it, it may seem painful, most of us cherish memories of school, camp, birthday parties, friends. I guess I mean that they miss the balance of a life well-lived. (No pun intended.) Read the rest of this entry →
My sister has five children. All of them are heavily involved in team sports, and thriving–great physical shape, good grades, active social lives, and high self-esteem.
She’s utterly convinced that team sports are crucial to self-esteem building, and that I’d better get my kid started with one–NOW–before he falls hopelessly behind.
First of all, HE’S FIVE. There are lots of reasons to do team sports, but there are even more reasons to build garages for all your BOB trucks. Or put on goggles and swim across the living room. He’s FIVE.
Which Jewish parents are the biggest kvellers in America today? That would Lynn and Ricky Raisman, whose 18-year-old daughter Aly Raisman scored one of the two American spots to contend for the all-around title in women’s gymnastics at the London Olympics yesterday. Not only did their daughter score high enough to replace the reigning world champion, Jordyn Wieber, who was a heavy favorite for a gold medal, she performed her floor routine to Hava Nagila. So much nachas!
But the best thing to come out of all of this does not even feature Aly–it’s all about her parents. One genius videographer chose to zoom in on the Raismans during Aly’s bar routine, and the footage that came out of it is pure (Olympic) gold. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to have your child compete in the Olympics, check it out:
To see her parents in a slightly calmer light, check out this interview with them for NESN.com, in which the key to Raisman’s success is revealed: Mommy & Me gymnastics classes at age 2.
When I think about the Superbowl, I think of the gigantic-sized serving of matzah ball soup offered at Max & Benny’s, my favorite Jewish deli in Chicago. I guess other people might think of that big sports game where two teams of oversized men wear shiny leggings and knock each other out. Regardless, the one thing I’m pretty sure we can all agree on is that the best part about watching sports is eating snacks.
Over on The Nosher, Shannon Sarna has been posting some recipes for game day snacks that sound–and look–incredible. If you’re planning on whipping up anything for the big game, we highly recommend you check these out:
If you’re on this website, chances are good you’ve heard of testing for Jewish genetic diseases. But how about genetic testing…for sports proclivity?
According to the Washington Post, two companies have recently begun selling test kits that for less than $200 will help parents determine to which sports their children are genetically suited. And no, I’m not kidding. The idea is that the DNA scan will evaluate the kid’s potential at different sports, and also lend itself toward helping tailor workouts and physical activity – as well as provide an early-detection system for predispositions to certain problems and illnesses.
OK, the latter sounds not so bad, especially if it helps the kid embark early on a course of action to avoid them. But the piece points out that critics say such tests are “questionable,” both in the fact that the results may be “needlessly alarming or falsely reassuring,” and the fact that no one really can tell the influence of genes on athletic prowess.
I do believe that genetics play a certain role in sports, but am not sure I can subscribe to the idea of testing as providing an end-all, be-all synopsis of your fate. But isn’t that true of any evaluative test – don’t rely on it excessively, but it does have the capacity point you in the proper direction? So basically, I think these tests aren’t so awful – so long as you don’t take them particularly seriously. Which may mean not taking them in the first place.
Of course, I don’t need a genetic screen to tell me that my kids aren’t destined to be the next LeBron. Based on factors like my own shrimp-esque height and lack of any athletic ability, I feel that’s a pretty solid predictor. But as I watch my little 6-year-old shoot ball after ball in the general direction of the basketball hoop in our driveway, I sure as hell am not going to be the one to tell him that.